The proposal to nominate ladies and members of different communities as clergymen in temples in Tamil Nadu isn’t just a non secular exercise, however is a component of a bigger social engineering to make sure equal alternative to all, a precept the DMK authorities is dedicated to, Hindu Spiritual & Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) Minister P.Okay. Sekar Babu has stated in an interview. Edited excerpts:
You introduced that clergymen could be appointed to temples administered by the HR&CE Division. How would you facilitate this? Do you anticipate a great response from aspirants?
Aspiring candidates can be skilled and appointed as clergymen in temples in accordance with the principles. The federal government will certainly help ladies who’re serious about taking over the job of a temple priest. I’m shocked on the questions being raised on the transfer to nominate ladies as clergymen. When ladies may very well be engaged in lots of different works in temples, why can’t they be engaged as clergymen? Once we are open to appointing folks from any group as clergymen in temples, why prohibit ladies? We’ve additionally acquired representations from ladies in search of a chance to function clergymen. Participating ladies as clergymen is just not merely a non secular exercise, however is a component of a bigger social transformation initiative to make sure equal participation — a precept the DMK authorities is dedicated to.
As regards taking over the job of a temple priest as a profession, I’m certain it isn’t simply the cash that issues to folks. Doing the divine obligation of serving God provides enormous satisfaction. Having stated that, I’d additionally add that the remuneration of clergymen in smaller temples that don’t generate a lot earnings is into consideration for revision.
What plans do it’s a must to promote temples? Many temple lands have been encroached upon and properties have been let loose for decrease leases…
Transparency would be the foremost pillar of temple administration. We’ve already revealed the title paperwork for greater than 3.50 lakh acres of temple lands on our web site. The method of retrieving the stability temple lands is beneath means. An enormous drive has been launched to establish properties in city areas, evict the encroachers and fence the premises.
An in depth evaluate has been undertaken to reach on the demand assortment and stability of every property, and the identical will quickly be revealed on the official web site. The defaulters’ checklist may also be revealed quickly. Crucial provisions have been created within the on-line software program to add the authorised price range statements of every temple in order that anybody may look at it. Particular groups have been shaped to revise the hire of outlets on temple lands, accumulate dues and expedite the disposal of associated circumstances pending within the courts.
Do you’ve any plans to deploy IT functions to result in effectivity in temple administration and asset administration?
We’re going to conduct a drone and Differential World Positioning System (DGPS) survey to digitise each inch of temple property and publish the identical on the official web site with 3D photographs. We’ve commenced the digitisation of everlasting registers, recordsdata and related information and, wherever doable, these information could be revealed on-line. Extra on-line companies can be launched to help devotees with making bookings for the supply of prasadam and enterprise uzhavaara panigal (voluntary cleansing service in temples), and live-streaming of pujas, archanai and different vital occasions can be undertaken.
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Many historical temples appear to lack the sources for renovation to showcase their significance and architectural marvel. Do you’ve any plans to develop them and put them on the tourism map of Tamil Nadu?
The HR&CE Division administers over 38,000 temples, of which greater than 34,000 have an annual earnings of lower than ₹10,000. And, 12,959 temples are coated beneath the Oru Kaala Poojai scheme, as a part of which they get a quarterly receipt from mounted deposits. It’s true that many temples don’t have enough monetary sources to undertake renovation work. The Chief Minister has promised to spend ₹1,000 crore to undertake Thiruppanigal (renovation work) in temples. We’re within the strategy of getting ready the estimates for it. I guarantee you that each one temples that want sources to undertake renovation work can be given the required help.
Apart from, temple tanks can be renovated and temple automobiles repaired and rebuilt. We’re intently coordinating with the Tourism Division to advertise spiritual tourism, for which our State is well-known. Primary facilities for pilgrims can be offered in all temples in order that they will have a memorable darshan.
The poor wage construction of clergymen usually makes them depending on contributions from devotees…
We’ve been receiving grievances relating to the poor wage construction of the clergymen, and have began enquiring about these grievances. There are numerous varieties of workers in temples, like time scale, contract, day by day wage, consolidated pay, service workers, and so on. There’s not a lot uniformity within the deployment of personnel in temples. The Chief Minister can be apprised of this problem, and a possible resolution can be arrived at quickly.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected temple revenues in 2020-2021 when in comparison with the earlier fiscal?
The pandemic has affected temple revenues. To mitigate the woes of clergymen and different temple workers who don’t have a hard and fast month-to-month earnings, they’re being offered a one-time monetary help of ₹4,000, 10 kg of rice and 15 varieties of groceries. Adequate steps have been taken to vaccinate clergymen and different workers. This drive will proceed until everyone seems to be vaccinated.
What’s the standing of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams’ proposal for a web site to assemble a reproduction of the Tirumala temple in Chennai?
The proposal is into consideration. The TTD temple in T. Nagar is drawing a lot of devotees. It might be good to have a reproduction of the Tirumala temple in Chennai. We are going to deliver it to the discover of the Chief Minister.
Critics say the DMK is “anti-Hindu”. Your views because the HR&CE Minister?
I strongly object to this. It’s being propagated by some sections who couldn’t tolerate the achievements of this Authorities, which has gained the help of the devotees in a brief span of time. I guarantee you that this authorities is not going to offend anybody’s sentiments by its actions and can solely defend the curiosity of each devotee. Archanai in Tamil can be made accessible in all temples on the request of devotees.