HYDERABAD: It’s more than three-and-a-half years since Telangana was created, but it is yet to constitute a Dharmika Parishad, the apex body to oversee administration and maintenance of charitable Hindu religious institutions and endowments in the state.
The last one in combined Andhra Pradesh state was the jumbo-sized 27-member Parishad constituted during former chief minister K. Rosaiah’s regime. Its tenure ended in 2013. Since then, the state has not had an apex body to look into temple affairs in its 31 districts.
The Dharmika Parishad consists of senior bureaucrats and officials, seers, agama pandits, philanthropists and eminent personalities from different walks of life.
Telangana has over 11,000 temples in 31 districts, of which 650 are considered main temples. The Parishad is a supreme body for all the temples with regard to their affairs, pujas, new initiatives etc.
According to M.V. Sounder Rajan, hereditary priest at Chilkur Balaji temple, the Dharmika Parishad takes key decisions concerning temples in the state.
“The Telangana government took decisions such as extending Doopa Deepa Naivedyam scheme to many temples which needs the consent of the Parishad. But since we don’t have a Parishad at present, this process has been pending,” he said.
Endowments department sources said that the ball was in the Chief Minister’s court for a long time now. The issue was placed before the CM after consultations with senior officials and the minister concerned. He will take a call on the formation of Parishad and the members to be inducted into it.
The government, however, modified a provision while adopting earlier rules from the combined state. While the endowments minister acted as chairman of the committee earlier, TS decided to consider for the post any notable personality who is associated with Hindu religious activities and festivities and temple affairs.
The name of My Home group chairman Jupally Rameshwar Rao, a retired bureaucrat who is currently an advisor to the government, is doing rounds for appointment as chairman of Telangana’s first Dharmika Parishad....