The propaganda machine of DMK is working overtime to spread word that the party is not anti-Hindu, but reforming the existing setup. Whereas the so called temple reforms being announced are farcical in nature. And the defense put up to these so called reforms expect the audience to lack common sense.
- People from all castes becoming archakas.
This has been an existing practice in TamilNadu for ages. In many of the temples in TamilNadu non-brahmins have been performing pooja hereditorially. They have been trained with all the religious practices for performing pooja by their family members. Brahmins perform pooja in temples they’ve been doing hereditorially. So, the propaganda as if DMK is reforming the existing eco-system and making people from all castes perform pooja in temples has no ground to stand. They are reinventing the wheel. Also, the training program organized by the TN Government for archakas is of one year, whereas the full course for Hindu priest traning is for 4 years to learn basics and 8 years for a thorough knowledge on Aagama Sastra.
2. Temple land reforms
There are hectares of land belonging to temples in TamilNadu for centuries. These lands have been leased for various purposes and the proceeds have been used for temple management. Any reform in this would be to make the rent commensurate with the market rate increase income for the temples. Whereas the Government is planning to issue patta (legal ownership document) to those who have encroached the temple lands. Madras High Court in a recent judgement has disapproved this and asked the Government to take course correction.
3. Free Prasadam to devotees
This is a good joke. It has been the practice in all temples that prasad is given free to devotees who visit the temple and they can pay to get bulk quantity to share with relatives and friends. The announcement of DMK Government on this needs clarity as to what is to be offered free and how much?
4. Monthly incentives to priests
Many temples have priests working for a meagre pay of <1000₹ a month. If the Government is so keen on taking care of priests they can make the priests’ pay commensurate with the pay given other temple employees of lower grade who have a Government appointment.
5. Depositing temple ornaments as gold bars
There are quite a lot of queries on the practice. The plan announced by DMK government is to remove the precious stones from ornaments and convert jewellery into gold bars. These would be deposited in banks and revenue thereof would be used for building temple infrastructure. This practice was halted due to irregularities complained by various activitsts and concerned citizen groups. The HR&CE has been under a cloud of complaints of malpractices and misuse of temple funds. The department has to clear the air without a spec of doubt before resuming the suspicious practice of melting temple ornaments.
6. Increase of temple income
By reducing the Government employed officers for every temple, the HR&CE can take volunteers from devotees to manage the temple administration, including property and finances. Overseeing of temple operations can be given to respective Mutts. By this way it would be a mammoth cost cutting in terms of hefty salary to Government officers from devotees’ contribution to temples and pave way for fruitful use of temple money.
7. Seeking to change anti-Hindu image
DMK is anti-Hindu. The founder of the party C.N.Annadurai had famously spoke in a public meeting that Goddess Meenakshi doesn’t deserve the ornaments. In a lot of DMK meetings M. Karunanidhi and other leaders have often spoke “It would be a golden day when Chidambaram Nataraja Temple and Srirangam Ranganatha temple are bombarded and dazed down.” Recently a DMK supporter Vairamuthu had spoken nasty about a Vaishnav deity called Andal. Even M.K.Stalin had spoken last year that he and his party would strive to uproot Sanathan Dharma.
Without apologizing for the above utterances, DMK could never be accepted as pro-Hindu by any means.