Vijayawada: The controversial decision of the endowments department to issue cards only to Krishna district priests, that also to only to 6,000 identified priests prompted the priests from two Godavari districts to voice their protest. “When you are treating Godavari waters as pious and welcomed it at the Ferry, what is wrong with welcoming priests from other districts and for that matter from other states,” questioned Andhra Pradesh Brahmin Seva Sangha Samakhya (APBSSS) youth president Surampudi Kamesh, referring to the Godavari water, via the Pattiseema project, merging with the Krishna.
The government has named the place holy. The endowments department is looking at Andhra Pradesh Brahmin Development Corporation, for a remedy. The department officials are trying to address the issue, but day by day, the intensity of the problem is increasing. Speaking on the same, Mr Kamesh has asked the government and also endowments department to come with details, as to why they have taken such a decision.
When contacted assistant commissioner (endowments) Satyana-rayana, said that the department has received applications from 2,600 priests from Krishna district and all of them will be given identity cards, from August 2 onwards. However, he said that the department has certain parameters and it cannot issue identity cards to the priests from other districts. “We issue cards as per the requirement of the priests at 23 ghats, across the river,” he said.
However, it is estimated that around two crore pilgrims are to have holy dip at river Krishna in Vijayawada and the number of priests identified may not be sufficient during the river fete, according to Shankaramanchi Santhi Babu, president, West Godavari Archaka Samakhya, and Ganti Venkata Narasimhacharyulu, president, Sri Vaishnava Sangham. While senior priests from Godavari districts have raised the demand of extending the facility of identity cards to priests across the state, the endowments department has refused it by stating that the priests had suffered a lot till the recent past, as there were no muhurtams for a longer duration. Mr Kamesh felt that priests across the state are fed up with the mindless decisions of the department....