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Tamil Nadu: Controversy over appointment of non-Brahmin priests in temples by DMK government

Fulfilling its poll promise, the DMK government has appointed trained candidates from different castes as temple priests in Tamil Nadu.

Out of 208 appointments, CM MK Stalin on Saturday handed over the appointment orders to 75 personnel from the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) department, who had completed ‘Archagar’ training.

The group consists of ‘Bhattacharyas’ (Vaishnava priests) and Odhuvars (Shaiva readers), including a woman Odhuvar.

Reading: DMK Govt in Tamil Nadu appoints trained candidates of all castes as priests in temples

However, the appointment turned controversial as many protested on social media saying that Brahmin priests were being replaced by non-Brahmin priests.

Subramanian Swamy to go to court

BJP MP Subramanian Swamy tweeted that MK Stalin, like his father M Karunanidhi, is interfering in the postings of temple priests, warning that it has become necessary for him to approach the court.

What do political analysts say?

Political analyst Sumanth C Raman tweeted a video of a priest alleging that several priests are being fired to start work for the newly appointed ones. The priest is heard saying that the priests of Kalahasti temple and Kabaleeswarar temple are being evicted to go somewhere.

Sumant C Raman tweeted, “Many social media messages and videos say that priests in temples are being given space for new appointments. I welcome the appointment of priests of all castes but work in temples for decades It is wrong to sack those who do.”

the minister replied

However, HRD and CE Minister Shekhar Babu denied the allegations and said that only as per the rules, new appointments have been given and such allegations are being deliberately churned to create unrest.

Shekhar Babu said, “Has any priest till now said that he has been removed from his work? Only a few social media friends are making the point that this government is against the priests of the temple.”

The minister also said that HR and CE follow transparency and called the appointment of Odhuvar Suhanja, a woman, in Thanupureswar by CM Stalin a silent revolution.

Responding to Subramanian Swamy’s remark, Shekhar Babu said that CM Stalin had made it clear that no law should be broken in any department.

“The HR and CE Act 1954, an amendment was made, by which the hereditary priesthood format was removed. Also, the age limit of 60 years was brought in for anyone working in the temple. HR and CE has not broken the law anywhere. If there is any disparity and if anyone highlights it, we will definitely look into it but DMK will not bow down to any kind of threats.

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