CHENNAI: In order to identify the process followed to appoint archakas to temples, the Madras High Court on Friday directed the Tamil Nadu government to constitute a committee headed by a retired judge within a month to study the agamic practices of various temples in the state and file a report so as to appoint the archakas.
The first bench comprising Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice N Mala passed the direction on hearing the petition filed by Jagadguru Ramanandacharya Swami, head of Tulsi Peeth Seva Nyas trust of Madhya Pradesh, and others.
The petitioners had challenged the GO of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments department (HR&CE) to appoint all those who are completing the one-year archakas course.
The petitioners accused the Tamil Nadu Government and the HR&CE of an attempt to dilute the provisions of agama with the view to completely extinguish the Hindu Agamic knowledge systems that have been preserved and nurtured for thousands of years by sages, gurus, and scholars.
“In Tamil Nadu, temples are built as per the Saiva and Vaishnava agamas. Therefore, every temple has its own agama. Therefore, the state government cannot appoint archakas without following the Agama rules of the temples,” the petitioners submitted.
On recording the submissions, the bench directed the state to constitute a committee headed by a former judge who possesses a deep knowledge of the religious practices to analyze the temples to know which Agamas are followed in each of them. The bench noted that the list submitted by the committee could serve as a guide to make archakas appointments.
Advocate General R Shunmugasundaram submitted that retired judge Justice Duraisamy Raja could be appointed as the head of the committee. CJ MN Bhandari directed the petitioners to file their response for the submissions of the AG and adjourned the matter.