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Only Vegetarian, No Criminal Record: Kamal Nath Govt Announces Norms for Appointment of Pujaris

The norms have been constituted by the newly formed Spiritual Department which replaced the Happiness Ministry established by the previous BJP government.

Vivek Trivedi | News18

Updated:February 6, 2019, 11:48 PM IST
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Only Vegetarian, No Criminal Record: Kamal Nath Govt Announces Norms for Appointment of Pujaris
File photo of Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath. (PTI Photo)

Bhopal: Taking the soft Hindutva policy forward ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, Kamal Nath government in Madhya Pradesh has announced fresh norms for appointment of Pujaris (priests) at government controlled shrines.

This is for the first time, any state government has formulated guidelines for appointment of priests in Madhya Pradesh.

The norms have been constituted by the newly formed Adhyatmik Vibhag (Spiritual department) which replaced the Happiness Ministry established by the previous BJP government.

The move comes days after the state government tripled honorarium of the temple priests from Rs 1,000 to Rs 3,000.

The government had also announced financial help to the shrines which offer shelter to cows, which is seen as an apparent move to counter BJP’s Hindutva politics.

According to a communique from the government, for the post of pujari, the candidate should have completed Class 8 with minimum 18 years of age. Good health is mandatory for this post.

The aspirant should also possess certificates of Pooja Vidhan and knowledge of pooja vidhi (religious rituals).

The communique also said candidates who have fathers as pujaris will get preference.

Other guidelines for the post say that the candidate should be pure vegetarian, he should not consume liquor and should not have any criminal background.

The candidate must never have been involved in encroaching Dev Sthan land or destruction of any other property of the concerned temple/place of worship, the communique said.

In cases where the religious shrine is a Mutt and the pujari, necessarily should be from any particular sect, the guru-shishya tradition would be followed for the appointment of the priest.

The duties of the Pujaris include performing seva pooja according to the rituals. The priest is also required to safeguard moving and non-moving properties of temple in the similar manner in which he safeguards his own asset.

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