August 17, 2021 2:02:37 pm
Tamil Nadu Minister for Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department (HR&CE) PK Sekar Babu on Tuesday said that no serving priests would be asked to go following the appointment of 58 trained priests from all castes, and that a few people are spreading malicious campaigns around the government’s move.
Addressing reporters in Chennai, Sekar Babu said priests who are past their retirement period are still permitted by HR&CE to carry out their services on a humanitarian basis. “With the sole intention to make the next generation of youth travel in the god-believing path, 58 people who had completed their archakar training and studied agama shastras have been appointed in temples falling under HR&CE. They all are under 35 years of age. Chief Minister MK Stalin has taken measures like this with a vision to make a strong foundation for the next generation,” he said.
“Certain channels and a few people on social media are claiming that the government has introduced a scheme against priests. People who uphold Hindutva are left with no job and hence they are involved in these fake campaigns,” he said.
The minister said like Suhanjana Gopinath, the first female odhuvar (one who chants hymns before the deity) who has been appointed at the Dhenupureeswarar temple at Madambakkam in Chennai, the government has appointed only archakars trained in all the agama shastras.
“If anyone is removed or has been stopped from carrying out their jobs, they can approach us and we will immediately take steps. In the last 10 years, there has been no appointment of archakars or any development. The department which was in a shambles has been resurrected by the DMK government,“ he said.
Apart from the appointment of archakars, the HR&CE has been involved in many initiatives in the last three months which includes recovering many encroached lands belonging to temples and launching the ‘Annai Tamizhil Archanai’ scheme aiming to streamline the method of conducting archanai in Tamil in temples. Babu requested the public to cooperate with the government and strengthen their hands to launch many such reform measures.
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