Monday, July 15, 2024

Timing of convention on temple management has ample political significance

The world’s first and biggest International Temples Convention and Expo (ITCX) will begin at the Rudraksh international convention centre here on July 22.

The three-day convention will be inaugurated by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat.

The convention, being held months ahead of the opening of the Ram temple in Ayodhya and then the Lok Sabha elections, assumes immense political significance, as does the venue which happens to be Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s parliamentary constituency.

The presence of temple managements and heads from southern states clearly indicates that the intention is to consolidate the Hindutva plank on a pan-India basis.

The event is being hosted by Temple Connect (TC), which is a leading platform dedicated to the documentation, digitalisation and distribution of information related to temples of Indian origin.

Providing details of the proposed events, TC founder Girish Kulkarni and ITCX 2023 Chairman and Maharashtra MLC and show director Meghaa Ghosh said that the prominent attendees at the event will include temple trustees, members of temple boards and trusts, besides prominent personalities such as the Prince of Travancore (Padmanabhaswamy Temple), Goa minister Rohan A. Khaunte, and executive officer of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam, Dharma Reddy.

“The first-of-its-kind knowledge sharing event will shed light on best practices in temple management through panel discussions, presentations, workshops, and master classes,” said Ghosh.

A local temple priest, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “The idea behind the event is to showcase the grandeur and importance of Ram temple and also put the focus on Varanasi as a spiritual and religious destination. The political timing of the event cannot be dismissed.”

According to sources, the convention will promote the idea of scientific temple management, which is missing in most temples in northern India.

“This is the world’s first event solely dedicated to the management of temples across the globe and will focus on nurturing and empowering the administration, management and operations of temple ecosystems,” sources said.

The sessions will cover topics on temple safety, security and surveillance, fund management, disaster management, sanitisation and hygiene as well as optimal use of new-age technology like artificial intelligence (AI) for protection against cyber-attacks and social media management to foster a strong and connected temple community apart from subjects like crowd and queue management, solid waste management, and infrastructure enhancement under the umbrella of pilgrim experience.

The most significant part of the convention is the participation of over 450 personalities from devotional institutions of different religions, including Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism, from across 25 countries.

The congregation of Hindu religious minorities at the event will, in all probability, extend tacit support to Uniform Civil Code, thereby demolishing the myth that all minorities are opposed to UCC.

TC founder Girish Kulkarni said, “The event will carve a space for free-flowing exchange of ideas, learning and invaluable insight among like-minded dignitaries who are at the helm of temple management in order to establish, enable and promote the best practices for temple management teams worldwide. The event is designed for temples and trusts of Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism in its first season.”

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