June 4 –  Various experts and organisations have expressed their serious concerns about the Guthi Bill that has now reached the National Assembly for its endorsement.
The proposed Bill aims at integrating and amending all the Guthi related laws.
This Bill has been drafted with the objective of forming a National Guthi Authority, scrapping the present Guthi Sansthan.
The Bill which reached at the Bill Management Committee of the National Assembly, is drafted with a plan to improve on the existing Guthi practice, religion and culture of the nation, said the experts.
Speaking at a discussion programme organised by Nepal Guthi Samarkshyan Pucha, Kedar Bhakta Mathema, president of the Pucha and former vice-chancellor of Tribhuvan University, expressed dissatisfaction that the government prepared the Bill without discussing it with the concerned bodies and submitted it secretly at the National Assembly.
He said the Bill would favour land mafia.
The Bill has a provision to eliminate Guthi shareholders who have been operating the Guthi of several temples of the nation for years. This Bill has been tabled merely to exhibit the government’s power of the two-thirds majority, he said.
Dr. Govinda Tandon, member of Pucha and former member-secretary of Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT), said the Bill would abolish the prehistoric Hindu religion if the parliament endorsed it.
He said that the definition and the area of Guthi was limited to only land by the government, ignoring its widespread responsibility to preserve, renovate and rebuild temples and other religious structures and customs which were directly connected with the people’s daily life.
“Guthi is our culture and lifestyle,” he said.
“The Guthi Bill is insufficient, unclear and against the Hindu religion and custom. It needs more discussions before the House passes it. Otherwise, religion of the nation will be destroyed,” he said.
Bharat Jangam, secretary of the Pucha, said the Bill had not mentioned a single word about ‘temple’ and the Bill had also contradicted the constitutional provisions.
“The constitution has provided right to bring Guthi law for the State government but the Federal Government has brought it so, this bill is illegal,” he said.
Former Minister Deepak Gyawali said that Bill had hurt the feeling and emotion of Guthi and Guthi stakeholders.
“Our ancient religion, custom and traditions will be destroyed if this Bill is passed without making any amendment. We will not be able to call ourselves as Nepalis if the Bill is passed and implemented as law,” he said.
Guthi system is still working in Myanmar. The practice reached there with the Buddhists who had gone there from Nepal many years ago. But, unfortunately, the government here is trying to destroy the Guthi system. The government of the communists has brought this Bill to encourage land mafia, said Gyawali.
He demanded that the Bill should be withdrawn immediately.
“The present bill has been brought by the groups that want to finish Guthi system and Guthi land of all the temples and are well aware about the structure of Guthi and its importance. This Bill will prove detrimental to our Hindu culture and civilization,” senior advocate Shree Hari Aryal said.

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english, HERITAGE/CULTURE

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