PICKETING AGITATION FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF ARCHAGAS, HAILING FROM ALL THE CASTES, IN TEMPLES

On 18th April 2016, Dravidar Kazhagam (DK) conducted Picketing Agitation for the Appointment of duly trained Archakas, irrespective of their castes in all the temples under the control of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Board in Tamil Nadu. The agitation was presided over by the Self-Respectful Dr.K.Veeramani, President, Dravidar Kazhagam. Besides Prof. Suba Veerapandian, General Secretary, Dravidian Tamils Federation, Respectful Adhiaman, President, Adhi Tamils Federation and Poet Va.Mu.Sethuraman, President, International Tamils Relations Forum joined the picketing along with the Black Shirt leaders and cadres of DK and rank and file of the fraternal organizations.

The core demand of the Picketing agitation has been pending nearly half a century as the testate of Thanthai Periyar. When Periyar was alive and even after his demise the ministry headed by Kaliagnar Dr.M.Karunanidhi, legislated enactments for the appointment of trained Archakas, hailing from all communities. But the brahminical hegemony organizationally went to the court of law against the legislations. But the court not only conformed the enactment but also done away with the hereditary appointment of Archakas from one and the same community with the clearance for the appointment of those trained duly for Archakas. Accordingly follow up actions were taken by the Government of Tamil Nadu. Due trainings were offered to the candidates, hailing from all the castes to acquire Dheeksha and Sambrakshana for the probable performance of the poojas in the Shiva and Vishnu temples. The priestly class challenged the every legislative and executive action in the appointment of Archakas. Out of the total Archakas trained, 206 Dheeksha and Samrakshana offered candidates also approached the Supreme Court for their due appointments.  The present Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu promised at the floor of the Legislative Assembly that the appointments of Archakas would be made, once the Supreme Court disposes the case positively. Ultimately the Supreme Court of India disposed of all the challenges and cleared the deck in December 2015 for the appointment of Archakas.

During all these periods, Dravidar Kazhagam has been conducting many demonstrations and agitations to focus the issue of the appointment of Archakas, from all castes. After the delivery of the judgment at the latest by the Supreme Court of India, DK appealed in writing to the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu to translate the promise given by her in respect of the appointment of Archakas. Since no response had forth come, Dravidar Kazhagam organized the Agitation – Picketing for the cause, throughout the State of Tamil Nadu at District headquarters in nearly 70 places. At Chennai the Picketing was held at the Office of the Commissioner of Hindu religious and Charity Endowment Board, Nungambakkam. All those who agitated were arrested in thousands throughout Tamil Nadu, detained under the Police custody for the whole day and were released in the evening.

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