MADURAI : Twelve years after Tamil Nadu government, under then Chief Minister and DMK president M Karunanidhi, issued a order stating that members of all castes, with suitable training, could be appointed archakas at temple maintained by Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department (HR & CE), a priest belonging a Most Backward Caste (MBC) community has been appointed archaka in an HR & CE-controlled Ayyappan temple at Tallakulam, Madurai.
The priest, who did not want to be named, was one among 206 non-Brahmins who made up the first batch to undergo archaka training provided by the government in 2007-08. He is reportedly the first among them to be appointed at a HR&CE temple so far. After he completed his training, he, like others from his batch, was performing poojas at small temples. Meanwhile the Alagar Temple administration, managed by HR & CE called for an interview for the post of archaka in the Ayyappan temple.
“After attending the interview, six months ago I was sent a communication that I was selected as Priest to perform poojas in the Ayyappan temple and have been working here for the past three months,” he said.
Joint commissioners of the department in Madurai claimed no knowledge of his appointment.