August 3, 2021 2:30:27 pm
The Tamil Nadu government will launch a scheme to carry out archanai (religious chanting and offering) in Tamil at Kapaleeswarar temple, Mylapore in Chennai on Wednesday and it will later be expanded to 46 other big temples across the state, said Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department Minister (HR&CE) PK Sekar Babu.
“We will place the signboards in front of temples. It will have details of the priest including name and contact number which help the devotees contact the person and place requests for Tamil archanai,” the minister said.
Speaking to IndianExpress.com, Pe Maniyarasan, president of Tamildesa Podhuvudamai Katchi and coordinator of Theiva Tamizh Peravai, said the government should take steps to set up a body to regularly monitor the scheme and resolve issues.
“It was during the previous regime of DMK, the government had passed an order to practice Tamil archanai in temples but it was not implemented properly. After AIADMK came to power, they did nothing. It looked like they intentionally avoided encouraging Tamil archanai. Many priests claim that they don’t know how to do archanai in Tamil even though the HR & CE had issued books of Tamil mantras to all the priests. Now that the new government has issued an order, it should also take steps to form a body to monitor the scheme. Action should be taken against temples that are found not doing Tamil archanai despite requests from the devotees,” he said.
The 47 temples that the government has announced include Peruvudaiyar temple in Thanjavur, Sri Ranganathar Swamy temple in Srirangam, Meenakshi Amman temple in Madurai, Arulmigu Dhandayuthapani temple in Madurai. Maniyarasan says the scheme can be implemented only in temples that are under HR & CE and not others that come under Aadheenams, Samasthanams as they have their own set of rules.
“On behalf of our organisation, we are spreading awareness among the public about the new order. We are issuing pamphlets to every house in Thanjavur, Tiruchirapalli and other neighbouring districts, informing them that doing archanai in Tamil will have the same effect of doing it in Sanskrit. We tell them our ancestors had practised this method in the past. This is because few upper caste men have built a false narrative that if people do archanai in Tamil it would not work. The minister has said that he will appoint one archakar in each of these 47 temples to carry out archanai in Tamil. But only if there is awareness among the public, the initiative will be successful,” he said.
A member of Tamil Nadu Government Trained Archakars Association, meanwhile, said he welcomes the decision but is not sure how it is going to be implemented.
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