Udupi legislators oppose temple take-over

UDUPI, DEC. 6. All the six MLAs and one MLC from Udupi district, cutting across party lines, have urged the State Government not to take over the Sri Krishna Temple.

Addressing presspersons here, V.S. Acharya, MLC, said that under the existing law, it was not possible for the Government to take over the temple and there was no necessity for such a move. The Government should not interfere in the affairs of the temple, which was functioning well under the Ashta Mutts.

Exempt from Act

As per Section (4) 1 of the Karnataka Hindu Religious Organisations and Endowments Act, the mutts and the temples attached to them were exempt from the ambit of the Act. The Krishna Temple was attached to the Ashta Mutts and these mutts were conducting pujas in the temples. The Karnataka High Court had already issued a stay order on the move to bring the Krishna Temple under the Endowments Department, Dr. Acharya said.

The Supreme Court, in its order in 1957, ruled that the Krishna Temple was a Hindu public temple and that its administration was under the mutts established by Sri Madhwacharya. Since the Ashta Mutts belonged to the Madhwa tradition, the Krishna Temple also came under the denominational category. The laws in the State gave exemption to denominational temples. This made it difficult to bring the temple under the Endowments Department, he said.

Invaluable contribution

The Krishna Temple had made invaluable contribution in academic, cultural and mass feeding activities.

It was the Sri Krishna Temple that began a midday meal scheme, `Chinnara Santharpane,' for primary schools in Udupi district. Udupi was the first district to provide midday meals to schoolchildren, thanks to the initiative taken by the Krishna Temple.

The temple was running a free dispensary for the needy, he said.

It was the saint-composer Kanakadasa who showed the supremacy of devotion. The `Kanakana Kindi' in the temple was a testimony to this unique event. All Hindus had immense respect for Kanakadasa. He (Dr. Acharya) and the six MLAs supported the efforts of Vishwapriya Tirtha Swamiji of Paryaya Admar Mutt to build the `Kanaka Gopura,' to replace the dilapidated gopura, in front of the `Kanakana Kindi.' They hoped work on the gopura would be completed soon.

Fifth memorial

Udupi, till now, had four memorials to Kanakadasa. They are `Kanakana Kindi,' the idol of Kanakadasa in the `Kanakana Gudi,' Kanakadasa Road and the `Kanaka Mantapa' on the Krishna Temple premises. The `Kanaka Gopura' would be the fifth memorial to Kanakadasa, Dr. Acharya said, adding that people should be wary of some regressive social elements that were bent on creating confusion on the `Kanaka Gopura.'

He and the MLAs criticised the statements urging the Government to take over the temple and appoint an administrative officer. Any interference by the Government was undesirable, Dr. Acharya said.


The MLAs K. Raghupati Bhat, Lalaji Mendan and Sunil Kumar of the BJP were present at the press conference. Dr. Acharya said that the independent MLA for Brahmavar and former Minister, K. Jayaprakash Hegde; the Congress MLA for Byndoor, Gopal Poojary; and the BJP MLA Halady Srinivas Shetty of Kundapur had agreed to and supported the statement issued by him.

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