Karnataka government has withdrawn its decision to pay the COVID relief allowances specifically to Muslim clerics from the funds of the ‘Hindu religious endowment department’ (Muzrai department). This comes after the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) opposed the decision.
The Karnataka Government, so as to provide relief for the Covid lockdowns, had planned to provide financial relief of Rs 3,000 to the imams of 41 mosques and madrasas in Dakshina Kannada district. The relief amount was to be given to temple priests serving in the ‘C’ category of temples as well.
In a memorandum submitted to the Muzrai minister of the state, Kota Srinivas Poojary, VHP stated: “money received from temples should be utilised for temples and welfare of the Hindu community only”. VHP leader Pradeep Sharma even went on to say, “Hindu department money cannot be used for other religions. I demand that the minister revokes the plan of giving it to masjids.” Srinivas Poojary then proceeded to issue a statement on the matter, in support of VHP’s exclusionary demands by saying, “We will not give one paisa of temple money to other religions.
The state has quickly complied with VHP and its Islamophobic demands. The BJP Govt. in the state put forward the scheme in the first place, and now are just as easily withdrawing it so as to not upset the interests of related Hindutva groups and their anti-Muslim agendas.