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Friday, July 30, 2021

An open letter to our PM Shri Narendra Modi

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Dear Prime Minister of Bharat

Shri Narendra Modi ji

Saadar Pranam from all Bharatiyas. We are awaiting with bated breath the grand ‘Bhoomi Pujan’ and ‘Shilanyaas’ of our beloved Sri RamJanmabhoomi Mandir. It will be the culmination of over 500 years of effort to reclaim the land of Sri Ram Lala. This path was strewn with our blood and tears of sorrow before they turned to those of happiness. In this new era which begins on 5th August, 2020, I have a small request which I hope you will consider.

As you must be knowing, in the past, our Temples did not have any Hundi box at all. Temples were looked after by the King & Queen of the land and all the expenses borne by them or by the family which had built the Temple. So, believers would come to the Temples with only simple offering of flowers and fruits and sometimes precious metals, gems and clothes for the Deity (Bhagwan / Maa). Believers would also offer ‘Annadaan’ (food for the ‘langar’) or ‘Goudaan’ (cattle for the Temple and food for the ‘Gouvansh’) or some donation for the ‘Paathshala’ which would be run free for the students studying there and on rare occasions, some ‘Bhoodaan’ (land) would be done. After the Puja-archana was done, a small ‘dakshina’ would be given to the officiating Priest. Apart from this, money was not collected. The system of having Hundis for collection of money started maybe a 100 years ago in most of our Temples.

Unfortunately, the money from the Hundis which the Bhaktas would donate for the welfare of Dharma or the Temple, has become a point of contention because almost all State Governments in one form or the other loot this money for purposes other than what any devotee would want to use it for. It is obvious that Sri Ram Mandir would also receive vast donations and it is the ardent desire of every devotee that these funds be used only for the purpose of serving Dharma and Sri Ram Parivaar.

Keeping this in mind, I request you to NOT have any Hundi in Sri RamJanmaBhoomi Mandir at all.

Since it is obvious that people would want to donate money and other forms of Dhan (wealth) for Sri RamBhagwan, may I request that the following steps be implemented…

  1. Let there be different departments which look after different aspects of Dharma-paalan like Goushala, Ved Paathshala, Paathshala, Annashala, etc. and devotees be directed to make donations for any one of these causes directly at the Temple.
  2. Let there be different sections for other kinds of donations such as Helping the Armed Forces, helping in case of Natural disasters, helping poor people, saving rivers and forests, etc. and people intending to help in such causes donate specific to these causes.
  3. Separate sections for donation can be made for Temple and surrounding area beautification and construction, donating clothes, precious metals and gems for the Deities, building new Temples and choultries anywhere in Bharat, etc.
  4. Separate section be made for donation of land or money for procurement of land for this Temple and / or any Temple anywhere in Bharat for the purpose of building Temples and/or Ved Paathshalas, Goushalas, etc. in the name of Bhagawan Sri Ram.
  5. Separate section be made for Protecting and rebuilding heritage monuments and Temples belonging to Indic religions anywhere in Bharat and anywhere in the world.
  6. Separate Section be made for protecting various Art forms of Bharat like our Dances, Music, Ramleela, etc.

Apart from this, to fund the salaries of the staff and other expenses, collection can be made from sponsors of other activities like Bhagwat Kathas, Ram Katha, Daily Pujas, Marriages, Upanayanams, etc. held in the Temple premises. This collection should be sufficient for the fixed and variable expenses of the Temple. Any shortcoming can be fulfilled by the State Government and if needed, by the Central Government contributing to it. All incomes and expenses should be strictly audited and reports made public every year.

Let this unique Sri RamaJanmabhoomi Mandir be unique in more ways than one. Let it not be a point for looting the Hindus but a ‘Udhgam-sthaan’ (starting point) for saving and replenishing Sanatan Dharma. Do take these points for consideration and let all present and future Governments realise the true meaning of ‘Maryada’ from ‘Maryada Purshottam’ Ram ji’s Temple.

With deepest respect,

Rati Hegde

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