Hyderabad: The Temple Protection Movement on July 16 requested Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao to intervene and restore the rights of Archakas (temple priests) over the service Inam Lands in their occupation and personal cultivation and restore their names in the enjoyer column of Pattadara Pass Books. This will facilitate in ensuring that Kainkaryams in the temple are not affected and the regular services are rendered, besides periodical Utsavams are conducted as before, Convenor of Temples Protection Movement Dr M V Soundararajan has said.
In a memorandum submitted to Deputy Chief Minister Mohd Mahmood Ali here on Monday, Dr Soundararajan said the Endowments Department wanted to dispossess the lands from Archakas and then lease them at throwaway prices. “This will result in temples losing lands and also the dedicated Archaka families. It is very important that temple lands will be governed by Endowment Laws and not Revenue laws,” Soundararajan said, adding that the Archakas, who served since long making a livelihood from the service Inam lands cannot be harassed by driving them to court. Endowments Department and Revenue authorities will prejudicially affect the rendition of religious services in respective temples.
He further pointed out that in the recently distributed Pattadar Pass Books the names of Archakas and Trustees’ names have been deleted contrary to the Pattadar certificates and Muntaqab issued to their forefathers and only the name of presiding Deity was inserted. “This act by the Revenue authorities was nothing but interfering with the Fundamental Rights guaranteed under the Constitution”, he said, adding “Archakas cannot be deprived of their rights to the schedule lands without due process of law and no amount of compensation can equate this change of nomenclature of the Lands”.
“The Inam lands go with the services and as such there should be a specific condition that the alienations of such lands are void. Grant of patta should be made only in the name of the deity. Further, no provision has been made in the Inams Abolition Act enabling the authorities concerned to insist upon the performance of the service in case ryotwari pattas are sought to be granted in favour of the individuals as incumbents of a particular service nor is there any safeguard providing a condition that the inam lands even after the grant of ryotwari pattas could be enjoyed only so long as the service is rendered. (NSS)