Non-Brahmin priests for Karnataks’s state-run temples..

This is a week old news which got lost in the demonetisation tide.

The secret world of temples and their caretakers are just a fascinating social history.

Non-Brahmins may also become priests (archakas) at state-run temples if the government accepts the recommendation of a legislative panel.

The sixth annual report of the SC/ST welfare legislature committee tabled in the legislative assembly on Wednesday recommended the government introduce a reservation policy in the recruitment of archakas in muzrai (department of religious institutions and endowment) temples.

Taking a cue from Tamil Nadu, sources said the government proposes to appoint non-Brahmin archakas, including those from the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, in some temples of the state. In 2006, the DMK government issued a government order, followed by an ordinance, to introduce the provision that any person who is a Hindu and possesses the requisite qualification and training could be appointed an archaka in Hindu temples.

There are about 35,000 temples under the muzrai department in Karnataka. The committee headed by legislator K Shivamurthy, in its report, exhorted the government to give an equal opportunity to all castes while filling vacancies in temples.

Defending the recommendation, a member of the committee said reservation of posts of priests exclusively for members of the upper castes is unconstitutional as it violates all canons of equity and justice. It is also contrary to Article 14 (equality before law), Article 15 (prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth) and Article 16 (equality of opportunities in matters of public employment).
Will be interesting to see how this goes…

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