Becoming a priest in temple has always been limited to the people belonging to upper caste. A lot of efforts have been made to reform this but still it seems to be nearly impossible. But MP government has come up with a new scheme to remove these differences.
The Madhya Pradesh Government-run Maharshi Patanjali Sanskrit Sansthan will launch a diploma course in “Hindu Purohityam” or priestly duties for all irrespective of caste or religion.
“From July this year, we are launching the one-year ‘Diploma in Purohityam’ for teaching priesthood. This course would be open for all irrespective of caste, gender or religion. The basic qualification needed is class X,” Director of Bhopal-based Maharshi Patanjali Sanskrit Sansthan P R Tiwari told to a daily.
This step is however being criticized by a Brahmin outfit who had staged a protest in May last year when government proposed to make people from Scheduled Caste community priest.
Tiwari said that students enrolled for this course would be taught about Hindu ‘Karmakand’ (rituals) performed at various occasions like marriages, house warming etc.
“We will teach these rituals in a logical way along with perfect pronunciation of matras in accordance with Hindu traditions. The priests would have all the explanation related to these rituals, which is basically a science,” Tiwari added. He said two other diplomas are also being launched along with the ‘Diploma in Purohityam’ course.
“We are also coming up with diplomas in Vastu and Jyotish Shastra (astrology) along with Purohityam diploma,” he said.
Sansthan is an agency for promotion of Yoga and Sanskrit in Madhya Pradesh. Opposing the move, Pragatisheel Brahmin Manch General Secretary Chandrashekhar Tiwari said that the state government was working against the interests of Brahmins.
“We had staged protest on May 12 last year when the state government had proposed to make purohits (Hindu priests) from scheduled caste community. Brahmins are already marginalized due to reservation. Now, the government wants to snatch traditional livelihood of Brahmins,” Chandrasekhar said.
He said the Manch is planning to hold a major protest against this move. “We will show our power through ballot in year 2018 (when state goes to polls),” Chandrashekhar added.
This move by the government is appreciative and the protest by the Brahmin just shows the fear in them of losing the years long hegemony. These are the kind of initiative which can actually help the Indian society to grow.
By – Parul Kulshrestha