National

Mahabodhi temple act amended

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On 30 July, Bihar government  amended the BodhGaya Temple Act 1949. This was the first time after 1956 that Bihar government did justice to Gaya District. Since 1949, mostly the District Magistrate was only a Hindu. In violation of the Indian Constitution, IAS officers from minority communities were not found fit to become Gaya district magistrates because this district official is the ex officio head of the committee running the affairs of the Mahabodhi Vihara which is officially given the Hindu name of “BodhGaya Temple” and “Vishnu Pada Temple of Gaya”.

Now after the amendment in the 1949 Act, the district magistrate Gaya of need not be Hindu.

 Secretary of the temple committee too was mostly Hindu. There was a Hindu secretary from 1949 to 1998, then again from 2001 to 2006. One Hindu person continued as secretary for 29 years, another for 12 and two held the office for six years each. Another feature of the Act is that the mahant of the BodhGaya Saivaite Matth is a life member in BTMC. It has been alleged that the recent blasts in Bodhgaya were to stop this change in the tempt Act.
 

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 August 2013 on page no. 4

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