TN govt treading Karunanidhi's path in striving for casteless society, claims CM Stalin
The government is taking forward Karunanidhi's efforts in appointing people of all castes as priests in temples, Stalin said.
CHENNAI: The ruling DMK is treading former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi's path in striving to create a casteless society and in doling out welfare measures to the people, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin said on Friday.
The government is taking forward Karunanidhi's efforts in appointing people of all castes as priests in temples, he said and added that even the Madras High Court recently ruled that caste will have no role in deciding who can be chosen as priests if they are well-versed in religious texts and rituals.
"The DMK government appointed aspirants of all castes as priests to prevent social ostracism. Even the Madras High Court has ruled in favour of appointing people of all castes as temple priests provided they are well trained," the Chief Minister said after solemnising the marriages of 34 couples at a gala event organised by the state Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments department at Sri Kapaleeswarar temple marriage hall here.
Today 17 people from the Scheduled Caste and tribal communities, including 8 women have been made priests in Rajasthan, he said.
Quoting a dialogue from the Tamil film Parasakthi, scripted by his father and Dravidian stalwart Karunanidhi, on "temples should not become criminals' den," Stalin said his government was utilising the temple funds for a social cause especially in conducting marriages of poor couples, organising Annadhanam (free meals) to devotees at temples and in periodically renovating temples including ancient ones.
"There are about 43,000 temples under the control of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department in Tamil Nadu. Orders have been issued to renovate 3,986 temples besides Rs 100 crore has been allocated to renovate 112 ancient temples without altering their structure. Efforts are also to conserve the murals in the ancient temples," the CM said.
In addition, after the DMK took over the reins, the financial aid to renovate the Adi Dravidar and village temples was doubled to Rs 2 lakh per temple per annum and about Rs 50 crore has been disbursed to about 1,250 such temples this year, he noted.
"As the name signifies, this department has been involved in charitable deeds including providing Rs 50,000 as seer (gifts) to the newly wedded couple. Like several other departments, the HR & CE is also creating a golden era."
State Ministers: P K Sekar Babu (HR & CE), K Ponmudi (Higher Education), Ma Subramanian (Health) and K S Masthan (Minorities Welfare), Chennai Mayor R Priya, DMK MP Kanimozhi, Tourism and HR & CE principal secretary K Manivasan, HR & CE officer on special duty J Kumaragurubaran and other officials participated.