BHOPAL: A few days after increasing the honorarium of priests from Rs1,000 to S3,000, the Kamal Nath government in Madhya Pradesh has now come up with guidelines for appointment of pujaris (priests) in government managed Dev Sthans (places of worship).
The department has also laid down necessary qualifications for these appointments. According to the official statement, those applying for the post of pujari must be above 18 years of age, studied till Class VIII and in good health. The applicant must also have a certificate in Pooja Vidhan and knowledge of pooja vidhi (religious rituals).
The applicant should be a vegetarian, not consume liquor and not have a criminal record. Also, the candidate must not be guilty of encroaching Dev Sthan land or destruction of any other property of the temple/place of worship.
In case a candidate’s father is a pujari, priority will be given to the candidate if he meets all other conditions. If a temple falls in the category of a math and the tradition of becoming a pujari belongs to a special akhada, then the appointment will be made on the Guru-Shishya tradition.
Priority will be given to Vansh and Guru-Shishya Parampara in appointments. Names of pujaris will also be entered in khasra. A register of priests will be also be maintained at the tehsil and patwari level.
This is the first time that the government has set down guidelines for the appointment of pujaris.
Stressing that the decision has nothing to do with soft-Hindutva, the Congress said that the move is in line with the promises made before the assembly polls.
BJP spokesperson Rahul Kothari said, “Everything is done by the Congress government is with an eye on the Lok Sabha polls. But the public knows the politics behind it (decision).”
Task cut out
Pujaris will perform seva pooja according to rituals and keep the Dev-Sthan clean. They will also safeguard moving and non-moving properties of the temple. The pujari will also work to inspire welfare schemes of the government