By Pervez Bari
Bhopal, Dec 30: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath has decided to form a new Spiritual Department as per the Congress manifesto.
The Religious Trust and Endowments and Happiness Department will be merged in the new department. Directorate of Religious Trusts and Endowments, Pilgrimage and Fair Authority, Directorate of Mukhya Mantri Teerth-Darshan Yojana and Rajya Anand Sansthan working till now will also be included in the new department.
New department to be made for Sarvadharma Sambhav
The objective of the formation of Spiritual Department is to strengthen inter-communal harmony and Sarvadharma Sambhav in the state covering all religions, sects and faiths. In many countries the Department of Spiritual Affairs is working under different names in America, England, Argentina, Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Brunei, Myanmar, Tunisia, Indonesia, Denmark etc.
The functions of Religious Trust and Endowment Department include restoration of government-controlled temples, honorarium to priests, construction of Dharmashalas, tours to religious places, work of pilgrimage and fair development. The objective of the Happiness Department is also to provide a prosperous and complete life to the citizens. This objective will also be included in the proposed Spiritual Department itself. Spirituality is not anti-religion, but it emphasizes the experience of a divine and universal consciousness. There is a Department of Spiritual Care in different hospitals in developed countries also.
Objectives of Spirituality Department
The objectives of the proposed Spiritual Department include the development of a common vision and apathy in all communities, developing mutual understanding and harmony while respecting the diversity of people of different backgrounds and circumstances, development of responsible citizens, embryo killings, cleanliness mission and maintaining peace during communal tension, inspiration from various religious leaders on subjects like “Gau-vansh” protection, creative use of strength of saints, proper management of Public Trust, Auqaf, religious fairs, pilgrimages, etc. planning, policy fixation and implementation of the concept of Happiness.
Main functions of Spirituality Department
The main functions of the proposed Spirituality Department include sustained efforts for the development of composite culture of Madhya Pradesh and India, development of peace and friendly atmosphere among various communities, strength of saints power of various religions to obtain important social and citizen targets, proper maintenance of movable-immovable properties of government “devasthans” and conservation and development of religious places, scientific evaluation of places of worship, development of socio-economic presence of places of worship, coordination with Tourism Department to encourage religious tourism, arrangement of honorarium to priests, Sevadar, Mujabirs, formation of welfare schemes, administration of religious and former trusts, revival of temple gardens in collaboration with the Department of Horticulture and the revival of temple sarovars in collaboration with the Rural Development Department, development of Maa Narmada Trust Act and various legal systems etc.
Also, the proceedings of the formation of Suryaputri Maa Tapti River, Maa Mandakini River and Maa Kshipra River Trust will also be carried out. Law will be made to make holy rivers of the state a living unit. Special package for the maintenance of government and historical places of worship, development of the districts falling in the state of Rampatha Gaman, crowd and security management at fairs organized on religious sites, coordination of Revenue and Urban Administration Department to free the properties of the shrines from encroachments, travel and management of pilgrim sites identified outside the state and within the state, identification of norms and programmes of happiness measurement, coordination between various departments to spread happiness and working as a knowledge resource centre for the subject of Happiness.