Padmanabhaswamy temple issue
Part of: GS Prelims and Mains I and II – Culture; Fundamental Right; Secularism
- In its recent judgment, the Supreme Court upheld the Shebait rights of the Travancore royal family in the administration of Shree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Kerala.
- SC bench held that the erstwhile Travancore royal family will have rights to manage properties belonging to Lord Vishnu, worshipped in ‘Anantha Shayana’ posture.
Do you know?
- There was dispute whether the temple and its considerable assets should devolve to the Kerala government following the death of Travancore ruler Sree Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma in July 1991.
- Kerala High Court, in 2011, had directed the State to take over the temple and exhibit its treasures for public viewing in a museum.
- Article 25 and 26 deals with this issue.
Article 25 – Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion
Article 26 – Freedom to manage religious affairs Subject to public order, morality and health, every religious denomination or any section thereof shall have the right
- to establish and maintain institutions for religious and charitable purposes;
- to manage its own affairs in matters of religion;
- to own and acquire movable and immovable property; and
- to administer such property in accordance with law
- A Shebait is any person who serves and supports the deity and works as a manager of the debuttar property.
- The properties like the temple or any other land or property which is vested with the deity are managed by the Shebait. Shebait is the only person who has the power to talk on behalf of the deity that is the god or goddess. He has the power to deal with all the affairs of the deity.