The Tamil Nadu Government today decided to pass an order allowing people belonging to all Hindu communities with the required training and qualification to become 'archakas'(priests) in Hindu temples. The Cabinet meeting headed by Chief Minister M Karunanidhi took the decision based on the verdict given by the Supreme Court in 2002.
The order was passed after analysing the opinion of the state legal department and receiving that of the advocate general on the issue, an official release said here. At present only the Brahmin community members are eligible to become archakas.
The government order would pave the way to fulfill the last wish of social reformist and the founder of Dravidar Kazhagam, Periyar E V Ramasamy Naicker, the release added. Periyar wished that people belonging to all the Hindu communities should be allowed to become archakas in Hindu temples. A government order was passed in 1972 allowing all communities to become archakas, when Karunanidhi was the Chief Minister.
However, it was stayed by the Supreme Court, following an appeal against the implementation of the law. The non-implementation of the order was described as `a thorn in Periyar's heart' as he passed away without seeing his last wish fulfilled.
Dravidar Kazhagam President K Veeramani has welcomed the decision of DMK Government and said the party would celebrate the decision as a grand festival. "Today was a revolutionary day in Tamil Nadu's history and Tamils all over the world were appreciating the decision of the state government", he added.