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The Raghunath Shrine in Kullu was not a private property of any individual as the entire festivities of the Kullu Dusshera revolved around it and Lord Raghunath is principle deity of people of Kullu valley, said Chief Minister Shri Virbhadra Singh while addressing a deputation of ‘Dev Sanskriti Charitable Trust’ at Oak-Over today. Citing examples of the formation of numerous temple trusts in the State for better management of the temples, Chief Minister said that formation of Raghunath Temple Trust was for the overall benefit of ‘Dev Samaj’ and better financial management.
“How can it be a private property, when the entire festivities revolve around it and the people of the Valley have unwavering faith in its principle deity”, he said, adding that in Dussehra festival it is the main deity leading ‘Rath Yatra’ and the whole festivities are an important part of the temple. He said that the Government had not taken over the temple but its management.
We have never equated ourselves with Gods, said Shri Virbhadra Singh. It is not like that we ever sat in the palanquin carried by the people on their shoulder. Being a true devotee myself, I have pulled the reins of the Chariot and at numerous occasions, given my shoulder to the palanquins carrying our local deities, he said.
The formation of Trust of Raghunath temple will not only lead to beautification of the temple but also strengthen the security and better fiscal management. Regular audit would be done, proper receipts of donations would be given, there would be trustees to run the temple affairs, he said. The Government has nothing to do with the funds of the temple rather the funds collected, would be spent on the temple and its welfare activities.
Theft had taken place twice in the temple of Raghunath, and it would be provided proper security also, he said. Rather, I feel that there should be magnificent temple of Lord Raghunath in Kullu rather than keeping the ‘idol’ in a small room, said the Chief Minister. Mr. Singh said that the temple cannot be a private property of the regal scion of Kullu, as if it would have been as such, it would not have been the centre of faith and worship of the people of the entire Kullu valley.
Chief Minister also exhorted the ‘Dev Samaj’ to come forward to stop the practice as adopted by few people who carry the palanquins of the deities on roads and in bazaar. Strict action would be taken in this regard as these people were the one who defame the entire ‘Dev Sanskriti’ and brings bad name to the State as well. The People should come forward to put an end to such a business in name of deities, he remarked.
The Chief Minister also announced a sum of rupees five crores for the Dev Sanskriti Charitable Trust for research and study of ‘Dev Sanskriti’ of Kullu. He said that research was necessary to carry over the culture and traditions to the next generations, adding that though we may not exist, but the culture and customs should go on forever. Being hill people, we are recognized by our language, culture and traditions and no matter wherever we stay, we should conserve it at all cost, stressed upon Mr. Singh.