Jaipur: The Ashok Gehlot government has appointed Dalits and women as priests in the temples that come under the Devsthan Department of the state government.
The Devasthan Department of Rajasthan has recently issued orders for their appointment.
The process of recruitment of 65 Pujaris was initiated in February 2014 by the then BJP government but the process of appointment took nine years to complete.
The minimum educational qualification was Praveshika under Sanskrit education. Since it was government recruitment, rules of reservation were to be followed that resulted in the selection of SC-ST, OBC.
The appointment of Dalits as Pujaris has created a row. The Brahmin outfits are opposing this. The Vipra Foundation has handed over a memorandum to Governor Kalraj Misra demanding to stop these appointments. The foundation said that with these appointments the government has tried to divide the society as for ages the job of a priest is entitled to the Brahmins only.
The state president of PUCL Bhanwar Meghwanshi said that this is a welcome step for social harmony. If anyone opposes this, it means that the sentiments of inequality still prevails in the society.
On the question of whether these appointments are in accordance with the Hindu scriptures, the Head of the Department of Philosophy, Rajasthan Sanskrit University, Shastri Kosalendra Das said that Jagadguru Ramanandacharya has written in his book “Vaishno Matabj Bhaskar” that everyone has the right of devotion to God but it is the responsibility of the Devasthan Department to maintain the order of worship and service method of ancient temples as was decided at the time of their consecration.