India is the central hub of culture and diversity for holistic places, India’s religious practices and lifestyle is what attracts people from across the globe. With having more than 1000s of temples in each state and hundred thousand or more religious temples, mosques, churches and other religious pilgrims across the country, it’s said they you’ll find some religious object or worship or house of god for every 500meters in India, Creators of games such as Pokémon-GO use such to their use when they had to place marking on the maps of India for players to navigate through and yet many still don’t understand or know the economic standing they have and this research paper is an analysis and critique of how religious places or holy places and houses in India contribute and fall in its economy.
The Indian subcontinent is the birthplace of four of the world's major religions; namely Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism. According to the 2011 census, 79.8% of the population of India practices Hinduism, 14.2% adheres to Islam, 2.3% adheres to Christianity, 1.7% adheres to Sikhism, 0.7% adheres to Buddhism and 0.4% adheres to Jainism. Zoroastrianism, Sanamahism and Judaism also have an ancient history in India, and each has several thousands of Indian adherents. India has the largest population of people adhering to Zoroastrianism (i.e. Parsis and Iranis) in the world, even though this religion initially grew in Persia. Throughout India's history, religion has been an important part of the country's culture. Religious diversity and religious tolerance are both established in the country by the law and custom; the Constitution of India has declared the right to freedom of religion to be a fundamental right.[footnoteRef:1] [1: The Indian Constitution 1949 https://indiankanoon.org/doc/237570/]
The economic importance of Hindu temples in medieval South India has been commented upon by most students of South Indian history. Without exception, the temple is seen to have had a central place in the dominantly agrarian economy of South India prior to the extension of British control in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. However, beyond recognition of the significant economic functions of medieval South Indian temples, little attention has been given to the matter.
In India, religion has not lost its place in society though the country has seen economic development: More than 90% respondents rated religion as “very important” or “rather important” in the latest round of the World Values Survey. India and Kyrgyzstan are the only two nations where the percentage of people who considered religion an important part of their lives grew by over 10 points over the decade through to 2014, with India logging 12.1% growth, from 79.2% to 91.3%, according to the survey. A key takeaway of the new study is that policy makers looking to boost economic growth, particularly inclusive economic development—a stated aim of the incumbent central government—need to consider the linkages between religious thought and economy.
How to identify if a Temple is public or private? Understand the concept with Supreme Court Verdict: -
- Case: In the plea in contradiction of the “Madhya Pradesh High Court” verdict that alleged that “Shri Ram Mandir” is a public temple and that the suit property is conferred in the ‘Divine being; and Ram Das’ and at that juncture‘BajrangDas’ are simply ‘pujaris’ and not ‘Mahant-Manager’ of the temple.
- Judgment: It was held by ‘R. Banumathi and R. Subhash Reddy, JJ’ that involvement of the participants/members of the public in the Darshan, entry in Directory comprising names of all public temples and no ‘blood-relationship’ among the sequential pujaris, are significant factors for shaping the public/private class of a temple.
The Temple property Should be taken on rent from the Government. Having occupied the Mandir possessions on rent from the Government, the litigant is prohibited from rejecting the fact that the temple properties are under the administration and control of the Government. Moreover, for the public temple and the pujari have no right to hinder the administration of these lands as his position is only that of ‘pujari.’
The inclusion of Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs within Hinduism is part of the Indian legal system. The 1955 Hindu Marriage Act '[defines] as Hindus all Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs and anyone who is not a Christian, Muslim, Parsee (Zoroastrian) or Jew'.And the Indian Constitution says that 'reference to Hindus shall be construed as including a reference to persons professing the Sikh, Jaina or Buddhist religion'.
In a judicial reminder, the Indian Supreme Court observed Sikhism and Jainism to be sub-sects or special faiths within the larger Hindu fold, and that Jainism is a denomination within the Hindu fold. Although the government of British India counted Jains in India as a major religious community right from the first Census conducted in 1873, after independence in 1947 Sikhs and Jains were not treated as national minorities. In 2005 the Supreme Court of India declined to issue a writ of Mandamus granting Jains the status of a religious minority throughout India. The Court however left it to the respective states to decide on the minority status of Jain religion.[footnoteRef:2] [2: http://www.tribuneindia.com/2005/20051125/edit.htm#4]
HOW THEY CONTRIBUTE TO ECONOMY
Temples and other religious places are Registered as Religious Trusts and Religious Trusts has not been defined below the income tax act. The particular laws of religion dictate the creation of Religious Trust. But in conventional connotation, it can be considered as the Trusts, which are included in the exercises of supporting religion or particular belief. Most of the ‘Religious Trusts’ also support Religious purposes as well, e.g., ‘education,’ ‘medical facility,’ ‘catering food,’ the poor, etc. and before-mentioned types of Trust are called Religious Trust. In the case of Hindus, the private law provisions governing the religious trusts have not been ordered and are found dispersed in different holy books and epics.
Temples as Trust: Temples set up for the social causes and sanctioned by the Income Tax Department get not only immunity from ‘payment of tax’ but also the donors to such temples can subtract the amount of donation to the Trust from their taxable income.
The trustees are expected to keep proper books of accounts of all the assets, liabilities, income, and expenses of the temple and also get the reports reviewed by a ‘chartered accountant.
Section 8 of Companies Act: Companies shaped under ‘Section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013’ for endorsing charity also obtain benefits under law including exclusion from various bureaucratic provisions of the ‘Companies Act,’ and are also permitted to such other exceptions that the Central Government may agree through its orders.
How to capture the benefit under the Income-tax Act by Temples?
For possessing the advantage of exclusions under the income tax act, 1961, the temples -‘Religious Trusts’ have to get themselves registered under the ‘income tax act’ under section 12AA.
If the objects of temple have been modified, the temple has to apply for the modification of the Registration Certificate. If such change has not been done, then exceptions would not be permitted. Additionally, return heedfully has been filed on the due date.
If Gross Receipts surpasses Rs. 2, 50,000/- then the reports of temple – Religious Trust must be checked to get the tax benefit possible to the Trusts under the act.
This may upset many Hindu people, but this is factual and true that Hindu temples are brought about and managed by Government, and they do pay tax. Here are certain key explanations –
It is for Hindu temples that the management wishes to confirm proper supervision and its revenue used for ‘correct’ resolves. Contributions given to Hindu temples are recycled or used by the commissioner usages to fund numerous government platforms.
Temple gatherings are not made to set up ‘vedpathshalas’ and educational establishments for coaching Indian philosophy and custom.
The fact says that the ‘SrirangamRanganathat’ Temple provided the Government a fee of ‘Rs 18.56 crore (2010-11)’ for ‘managing the temple,’ for workers interpreting religious service area like reciting ‘Vedas,’ ‘Pasurams’ throughout the deity processions, no salary is paid. They get contributions made by believers and cut in sale of ‘Archana’ tickets”.
The temple belonging has‘de-facto’ become ‘pseudo-government’ property. Even amid of 1986 and 2005, Tamil Nadu temples just ‘lost’ 47,000 acres of land and presently extra 10 million square feet of valued sites belonging to ‘Hindu Temples’ in Tamil Nadu are under infringement/encroachment.
Idols since ancient temples, which are part of India’s heritage, going disappeared. In relevant well-managed establishment, those accounts would be held answerable and penalized, but not in the Government. Government intervention has disturbed the antique ancestry of priesthood.
Communal conflicts have periodically plagued India since it became independent in 1947. The roots of such strife lie largely in the underlying tensions between sections of its majority Hindu and minority Muslim communities, which emerged under the Raj and during the bloody Partition of India[footnoteRef:3]. Such conflict also stems from the competing ideologies of Hindu nationalism versus Islamic fundamentalism; both are prevalent in parts of the Hindu and Muslim populations. This issue has plagued India since before independence. The lack of education among the masses and the ease with which corrupt politicians can take advantage of the same has been attributed as the major reason for religious conflicts in India. Even though Freedom of religion is an integral part of the India constitution, the inability to hold a communal mob's accountable has limited the exercise of religious freedom in India. [3: Dead Silence: the legacy of human rights abuse in pujab https://books.google.co.in/books?id=Dx7b8w6snbsC&pg=PA13&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false]
Temple-Trust is a notion which generally features all over the place of the author, the ‘trustee,’ and the ‘beneficiary’/’beneficiaries’ having rights and duties assigned to each of them. Nearby, there are many advantages of the temple- trust like safety of wealth, protection of liquidation, Taxation, well-being of public and Deities members, and many more. If the temple-trust is formed with all the compulsory legal measures, then it is for helping each of the structure of a temple.
Temples in India though my not be above the government and law but the religion does have a high control of public intrest and opinion. In india more people have been killed in the name of religion then in the name of terrorism due religious Riots alone. Political parties always have tie-ups with religious trusts to use their advantage and to failing public favor and Intests.
In India religion has more control over people than logic and common sense knowledge, if people just kept religious beliefs to themselves and didn't Follow it blindly or let other people live their own way life our country would dramatically improve in terms of public peace and Cultured and dignified society
I would like to end this by stating that I'm not an Atheist, I do believe in higher power and God, but I don't think religion as it's followed now is right as I feel it's vague on logic and reasoning and more over seems like rules and proceedure made to convince people by fear of higher power rather than benefits of actions.
- https://www.indiacode.nic.in/handle/123456789/1922?locale=en (Places of Worship act 1991)
- http://legislative.gov.in/actsofparliamentfromtheyear/indian-trusts-act-1882 (Indian Trusts act 1882)
- https://www.incometaxindia.gov.in/pages/acts/income-tax-act.aspx (Indian Income Tax act 1961)
- http://www.mca.gov.in/MinistryV2/companiesact2013.html (Indian Companies act 2013)