Restore temple rights to weaker sections'

Special Correspondent

KURNOOL: P. Sivaramakrishna, director of Sakti (NGO), called for restoration of temple rights to the members of weaker sections. Addressing a conference of Hindu temple priests here on Sunday, he said weaker sections including scheduled castes had a greater stake in the temple administration and rituals, which have disappeared now.

He said Hathiram Baba, a tribal devotee, saved the temple of Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala from plundering by Arcot Nawab. The family of Hathiram remained the Central Trustee of the temple till the Endowments Department took over. Dr. Sivaramakrishna said it was sad to note that the TTD was doing nothing that reflected the sentimental relationship between Lord Venkateswara and the tribals. Similarly, the people belonging to cowherd community opened the inner temple of the lord, but no recognition was given to them.

The prayer songs from ‘Divyaprabandham’ in Tamil were penned by Alwars who belonged to the downtrodden sections . Dr. Sivaramakrishna urged the priests and managers of Hindu temples to integrate the devotees once again by giving the due honour to all communities, especially the weaker sections. K.C. Kalkura, who presided over the meeting, said that the temples should be freed from Endowments Department which remained stumbling block for introducing reforms in temple system.