Subsidy for Hindu pilgrims


by Sulaiman Razvi

Right wing groups in India keep mum about government’s subsidy for Hindu pilgrims but makes Hajj subsidy a controversial word. Right wing groups boasts about subsidy given to Muslim pilgrims but the Hindu nationalist BJP didn’t abolish Hajj subsidy when it was the ruling party in 1996-7 and 1998-2004 respectively.

Subsidy for Hindu pilgrims is state sponsored and many states like Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu etc provides subsidy for Hindu pilgrims. Here are some links which gives details about subsidy given to Hindu pilgrims for Kailash Mansarovar and Muktinath Yatra and billions of rupees for organizing events like Kumbh Mela, Amarnath Yatra, cleaning of rivers, ponds after Ganesh Chaturthi etc. My question to those fanatics is that you keep moaning about Hajj subsidy when even Muslims are against it but why don’t you say anything against all subsidies and government funds allotted for Hindu festivals? Court ordered elimination of Hajj subsidy, will court also orders elimination of subsidies for Hindu pilgrims and those thousands of crore rupees spent on Hindu festivals? Will right wing fanatics accept that?

Uttar Pradesh’s Akhilesh governments provides subsidy to Hindu pilgrims for Mansarovar
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-2162853/SPs-Mansarovar-sop-Akhilesh-woos-Hindus-yatra-subsidy-demands-Haj-slots.html

50,000 rupees subsidy for each Hindu pilgrim on their return from Kailash Mansarovar pilgrimage in 2015-16 year
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/lucknow/UP-invites-applications-for-subsidy-from-UP-pilgrims-who-completed-Kailash-Mansarovar-Yatra/articleshow/49146569.cms

it had done similar in 2013 also

http://archive.indianexpress.com/news/kailash-mansarovar-pilgrims-to-get-more-subsidy/1150187/

UP CM Yogi Adityanath promises Rs 1 lakh subsidy for Kailash Mansarovar Yatra
http://www.dnaindia.com/india/watch-live-prodigal-yogi-adityanath-returns-to-gorakhpur-as-up-cm-2368120 

Tamil Nadu subsidy for Muktinath and Mansarovar
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/subsidy-for-pilgrims-going-to-manasarovar-muktinath/article3726644.ece

 

Madhya Pradesh adds Ayodhya, 5 other places to ‘free pilgrimage scheme’
http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/mp-adds-ayodhya-5-other-places-to-free-pilgrimage-scheme/

2,500 crore rupees (370 million USD approx) budget set aside by Maharashtra government for arrangements of Nashik Kumbh Mela
http://indianexpress.com/article/india/maharashtra/rs-2500-cr-22-govt-depts-40-ngos-at-work-for-clean-kumbh-mela/
http://www.ibnlive.com/news/india/nashik-kumbh-mela-inaugurated-by-cm-devendra-fadanvis-1020079.html

 

Several states subsidies
Every few years, the question is raised of the Haj subsidy given by the government to Muslim pilgrims flying to Mecca on state-owned Air India – whether it should continue, whether it is financially viable, whether it compromises India’s secular credentials. The Haj is a journey Muslims are enjoined to make at least once in their lifetimes to the Saudi Arabian city of Mecca, which is considered sacred in Islam.

Now, just after Saudi Arabia increased its quota of the number of Indians who will be permitted to make the pilgrimage for the first time in three decades, the minority affairs ministry has formed a committee to reconsider the subsidy. The government said it was following up on the Supreme Court order of 2012, which dictated that the subsidy should be phased out in 10 years.

There have been questions about the way in which the subsidy is administered. It has been claimed that funds routed through the Haj Committee to various community leaders were distributed as political largesse. Some say that there have been various irregularities in the flow of cash. Others contend that the subsidy is no subsidy at all but merely a transfer of funds from one part of the state machinery to the other: people availing of the subsidy travel to Saudi Arabia on the national carrier, Air India. The pilgrims fly out from Mumbai and in 2016 were given a concession of Rs 45,000 for their airfare.

Over the last decade, the Haj subsidy it was seen as part of the United Progressive Alliance government’s policy of outreach to Muslims, thought there have been voices of criticism from within the community. This week, the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen president Asaduddin Owaisi said the money for the subsidy – believed to total Rs 450 crore at present – would be better spent on the education of Muslim girls.
Not just the haj

While these objections to the Haj need to be considered, what has passed without scrutiny is the fact that India also spends money on a raft of pilgrimages, directly or indirectly.

Chief among these are the four Kumbh Melas, held in Haridwar, Allahabad, Nashik and Ujjain. Millions of people attend each fair. To ensure that they go off smoothly, Central funds are routed through state governments to pay for constructions on the mela grounds, facilities for pilgrims and security. In 2014, for instance, the Centre spent about Rs 1,150 crore and the Uttar Pradesh government Rs 11 crore on the Allahabad Kumbh. Of this, Opposition parties alleged that Rs 800 crore had been misused.

Last year, the Union culture ministry also set aside Rs 100 crore to be granted to the Madhya Pradesh for the Simhastha Mahakumbh, which is held in once in 12 years in Ujjain. The state government had already spent Rs 3,400 crore on the event.

Other pilgrimages attracting Central funds include the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra, which involves an arduous trek from North India into the mountains of Tibet. The yatra is organised by the government, which spends money on security and health facilities for the pilgrims.

Meanwhile, several states have explicit subsidies earmarked for various pilgrimages or religious events. Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand provide money to residents going on the Manasarovar yatra to cover a part of the expenses, which amount to about Rs 1.5 lakh each. The Madhya Pradesh government subsidises a range of pilgrimages for senior citizens and their attendants under the Mukhyamantri Tirtha Darshan Yojana, including visits to Ayodhya, Mathura, the birthplace of Sant Kabir and St Thomas Church in Kerala.

In Jammu and Kashmir, the Amarnath Shrine Board was set up by an act passed by the state assembly in 2000. Headed by the governor, who is aided by senior civil servants from the national and state administrative services, the board is responsible for “developmental activities” on the shrine and its environs, the “payment of suitable emoluments to the salaried staff”, constructing accommodation for pilgrims and other allied activities.
https://scroll.in/article/826656/apart-from-the-haj-india-subsidises-a-range-of-pilgrimages-most-of-them-hindu

 

 

Maharashtra’s Nashik Muncipal Corporation and State government approves rupees 1,052 crore in 2015
http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-maharashtra-government-yet-to-give-rs-200-crore-for-kumbh-mela-nashik-mayor-2105312

 

Madhya Pradesh’s Simhasta Kumbh Mela budget may rise to 5,000 crore rupees (750 million USD approx), 3,000 crore rupees has been spent so far.
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/simhastha-kumbh-budget-may-rise-to-rs-5000-crore-mp-govt/articleshow/51070355.cms

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/good-governance/madhya-pradesh/Simhastha-Kumbh-budget-may-rise-to-Rs-5000-crore-MP-government/articleshow/51072663.cms

 

Punjab state introduces Cow Cess to shelter and protect cows because cow is holy among Hindus
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/now-a-cow-cess-in-punjab/article8605063.ece

 

Haryana state proposes Cow cess
http://www.thenewsminute.com/article/haryana-commission-proposes-5-cow-cess-movie-tickets-welfare-bovines-46122

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/after-punjab-now-cow-cess-proposed-in-haryana-2902171/

Surcharge of 10% on stamp duty for cow protection in Rajasthan
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/surcharge-of-10-on-stamp-duty-for-cow-protection-in-rajasthan/articleshow/58047205.cms?from=mdr
Apart from these subsidy government also funds certain Hindu religious rites like granting 2.5 crore rupees fund to Shri Shri Ravi Shankar etc.

http://zeenews.india.com/news/india/culture-ministry-gave-rs-2-5-crore-for-sri-sri-ravi-shankar-s-world-culture-festival_1864171.html

 

The Haryana government will spend around Rs 100 crore to celebrate the teachings of Bhagavad Gita at Kurukshetra, where Lord Krishna is believed to have delivered the sermons that form the crux of the Hindu religious treatise.
http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/haryana-s-khattar-govt-to-spend-rs-100-crore-for-gita-festival/story-AyHxT6YLjeTWpe2ckPa1IP.html

 

TS Budget allocates Rs.100 cr. for Brahmin Welfare Fund
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/ts-budget-allocates-rs100-cr-for-brahmin-welfare-fund/article8352309.ece
http://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/130316/budget-2016-telangana-to-announce-rs-100-crore-for-welfare-of-brahmins.html

Also check the funds allotted to different castes and religions,
Backward Classes: Rs 5,070 crore
Most Backward Classes: Rs 1,000 crore
Scheduled Castes: Rs 14,375 crore
Scheduled Tribes: Rs  8,165 crore
Dhobis & Nayee Brahmins: Rs 450 crore
Weavers (Padmashalis): Rs 1,200 crore
Yadavs (Sheep rearing):Rs  2,500 crore
Brahmin welfare:Rs 100 crore
Minorities: Rs 1,249 crore
http://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/140317/telangana-budget-tells-a-sop-story.html
https://scroll.in/latest/831687/telangana-government-presents-welfare-budget-with-outlay-of-rs-1-50-lakh-crore

Now you do the maths of how much funds are allotted to Hindus.

Telangana CM Chandrashekhar Rao to set up Brahmin society for welfare of poor
http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ani/telangana-cm-chandrashekhar-rao-to-set-up-brahmin-society-for-welfare-of-poor-117012100075_1.html

Karnataka pays for rain rituals,
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/karnataka-pays-for-rain-rituals/article3662167.ece

 

Andhra Pradesh govt orders ‘Yagnas’ in temples to please rain gods.
http://www.deccanchronicle.com/150819/nation-current-affairs/article/andhra-pradesh-government-orders-yagnas-temples-propitiate

Telangana priests to get salaries on par with government employees
http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/telangana-priests-to-get-salaries-on-par-with-government-employees/story-63NHzYW85lmxheTr5Vx1JN.html

Govt. to provide salaries to archakas of 6C temples
http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/govt-to-provide-salaries-to-archakas-of-6c-temples/article6824847.ece

Salaried priest for Kolhapur temple soon
http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report-salaried-priest-for-kolhapur-temple-soon-2546197

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s