KURNOOL: At a time when the issue of non-Hindus working in temples is stoking a controversy and Chief Secretary LV Subramanyam hinting at taking action against such employees, Sri Bhramaramba Mallikarjuna Swamy Varla Devasthanam Executive Officer (EO) KS Rama Rao has sent a list of non-Hindus working with it to the Endowments Commissioner to take suitable action.
Following a directive from the Endowments Commissioner, surprise checks and raids were conducted at the residences of the Srisailam temple staff. These raids were conducted to know whether employees or their family members were following any religion other than Hinduism. However, the raids have created a lot of tension among the temple staff.
In a letter sent to the Endowments Commissioner, the Srisailam Devasthanam EO said that 17 (three regular and 14 outsourcing employees) staff belonging to non-Hindu communities are working in the temple. Of the 17, three are Muslims, who are working as a driver, a record assistant and other job. The remaining 14 are Christians, who were appointed as daily wage contract/outsourcing employees. Except two, all the 12 daily wage workers had changed their names, possibly to get the job.
A temple officer, on condition of anonymity, said that Christian employees sought work claiming that they belong to Mala and Madiga communities (People from these communities are Hindus as per the Constitution). “On paper, they are Hindus. However, they practice Christianity at home,” he added.
However, they have not given any affidavit stating that they are Hindus. When TNIE sought explanation from the temple EO about the authenticity of the list, he said that he had taken charge just a few days ago. “My secretary prepared the list based on temple records,” he stated and added he would initiate a probe to verify the existence of non-Hindus in the temple services at Srisailam.