Temple idol theft – UPSC GS1

 

Importance of Temples and idols:
  1. Culture and heritage : temple idols are symbols of culture & heritage evolved over centuries.
  2. Religious and spiritual : temple idols are attached with people’s life and sentiment
  3. Economic : temple provide employment to many people and also they provide revenue to government from tourism.
What is the issue?
In India, frequent trade in illicitly procured temple idols has been thriving for many years around various states. Idol trade in various countries have created huge black money which may be utilized in terrorism.
What are the measures taken by the government in this regard?
  1. India is a signatory to UNESCO Convention on prohibition of illegal trade of cultural artefacts.
  2. Some states like Tamil Nadu have specialised units set up for curbing this trade.
  3. The Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, 1972 have been enacted by the government to deal with such menace.
  4. The government is launching a National Mission on Monuments and Antiquities, tasked with documenting the antiquities and preparing a national database. The mission will also help establish provenance in the retrieval of smuggled antiquities, in addition to promoting public awareness and participation in the safeguarding of antiquarian wealth.
  5. A committee has also been set up to review museum security requirements for a comprehensive security policy.
  6. Government is also coordinating with various neighbouring countries for joint action to stop illegal trade of idols