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Wednesday, Nov 20, 2019

Jagan govt does away with priests’ retirement rules

The YSR Congress government also restored the hereditary priesthood rights to the Hindu temple priests. Now, a priest can be succeeded by one of his family members in the same temple.

andhra-pradesh Updated: Oct 22, 2019 22:53 IST

Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
The Andhra Pradesh government headed by chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy has done away with the retirement rule for temple priests on attaining superannuation at the age of 65.
The Andhra Pradesh government headed by chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy has done away with the retirement rule for temple priests on attaining superannuation at the age of 65.(PTI Photo)
         

The Andhra Pradesh government headed by chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy has done away with the retirement rule for temple priests on attaining superannuation at the age of 65.

“He [a priest] shall continue in the post till he is physically fit to perform his archakatvam [priesthood] duties,” a government order issued by the state endowments department on Monday evening said.

The YSR Congress government also restored the hereditary priesthood rights to the Hindu temple priests. Now, a priest can be succeeded by one of his family members in the same temple. “If a priest who intends to retire due to old age or other health reasons, he shall nominate his successor and send the name to the Commissioner of Endowments for approval,” the order said.

The hereditary rights were abolished after the Andhra Pradesh assembly had passed the Endowments Act, 1987, which annulled all the rights and emoluments in cash or kind to the hereditary priests and trustees, including their share in prasadam, other sources of income like ticket sales, among others

Priests across the state have been demanding restoration of hereditary rights for several years. However, the latest order is not applicable to Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams, an independent trust which manages the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple at Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh.