Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) Trust Board and Administration Corruption Scandal
Sri Venkateswara Shrine in Tirupati
Sri Venkateswara temple in Tirupati, the richest temple in India attracting devotees from all corners of the nation and followers in other parts of the world could no longer be subject to misuse and abuse of temple wealth by the trust board evidently lacking in trust and integrity.
The trait demonstrated in abrupt dismissal of the temple’s chief priest AV Ramana Deekshitulu for expressing concern over rampant corruption among Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD)Trust board and administration besides declining to submit to transparency under Right to Information Act, the Indian national law requiring public access to data on activities related to general citizenry is reprehensible.
Though corruption within administration and TTD trust board is widely known and has become abundantly clear in TTD’s latest action in removal of the temple chief priest AV Ramana Deekshitulu for dissent in mishandling temple funds originating from ordinary people’s donations in cash and jewelry,
The trust board setting up ad hoc advisory committee for Sri Venkateswara Swamy (Vishnu) temple in New Delhi to deposit temple treasure in various banks contradict the tradition expected in trust management.
The TTD board unanimous decision to replace the chief priest AV Ramana Deekshitulu and three other priests Narasimha Deekshitulu, Srinivasa Murthy Deekshitulu and Narayana Deekshitulu with the sudden introduction of retirement age 65 years to justify impromptu reaction to allegations merits dissolution of the trust board rejecting legitimate calls for open independent inquiry barring any corrupt political or societal influence.
TTD board indulgence in arbitrary disbursement of temple wealth for personal and vested interests further remains the cause for immediate replacement of TTD board beginning with TTD trust board chairman Putta Sudhakar Yadav and TTD executive officer Anil Kumar Singhal along with the rest in collusion.
TTD board plans to construct pathway within the temple to accommodate VVIP’s comprising political figures, celebrities and industrialists bribing the trust board with illicit money to gain special entry to the shrine is disgraceful.
The celebrity worship and such practice not only stigmatize India’s so-called democratic status but also confirm embedded corruption amongst wealthy buying their way to sanctum sanctorum without realizing these tactics are never approved for divine blessings especially when scores of ordinary citizens wait in line patiently and anxiously for hours extending into more than a day or so to get a glimpse of the divine entity – Sri Venkateswara in Tirupati.
Accordingly, the following measures are required to eliminate corruption and retain sanctity of the Holy temple – Sri Venkateswara in Tirumala Tirupati.
1. Open audit of temple funds held by TTD board including any or all affiliates administering temple activities in direct and indirect capacity.
2. The public and private donations are to be made available under Right to Information Act (RTA) and published online and conventional means for open verification.
3. VIP and VVIP lines are to scrapped together with the celebrities arrival on chartered flights and helicopters to the temple premise that is sanctimonious in nature along with the trend contributing to serious damages of the ancient structure.
4. The Archeological survey of India should be hired using temple fund to assess damage and authorize relevant repair and reinforcement of the religious site.
5. The reinstatement of the chief priest AV Ramana Deekshitulu and three other priests Narasimha Deekshitulu, Srinivasa Murthy Deekshitulu and Narayana Deekshitulu forced to retire against norm are necessary to preserve virtues and values – the core elements in religious and social paradigm.
Any resistance or refusal to outlined proposals would establish dysfunctional and corrupt system prevalent in TTD board deficient in credibility and competence to accept accountability.
Anything conducted using religion and divinity for individual and selective benefit has adverse repercussions that are not to be taken for granted.
Author & Presenter PadminiArhant.con