PADT regulates number of Hindu priests

KATHMANDU, June 18: Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT) has issued permit to only 330 priests to carry out rituals on the premises of the famous Hindu shrine. The PADT selected the 330 priests on the basis of their academic qualification.

From now onward, priests other than the ones approved by the PADT won´t be allowed to perform rituals near the temple. 

Before making the selection, the PADT had issued an open notice for all the interested priests to submit their bio data, academic qualification and other important documents by June 10. 

Govind Tandon, member-secretary at the PADT, said that the trust officials felt the need to vet the priests as most of them lacked even basic knowledge about rituals they have been performing. They have been doing it just to earn money.

“They try to force every visitor to perform on or the other ritual for the sake of money. They even force foreign visitors to do so,” said Tandan. “That´s why we decided to regulate their number by selecting the ones who were better suited for such tasks. Those who had failed to produce required documents were excluded from the selection process.”

“Although we had asked them to submit relevant documents, mainly we wanted to see their academic qualification,” said Tandan.

According to him, the trust will distribute identity cards to the 330 priests and assign them spots outside the premises of the temple. Tandan also informed that the authorized priests will have to pay some amount to the PADT office as rent.

The PADT office has also asked the priests, who have been performing rituals inside (near west gate of the temple), the premises of the temple, to submit their academic qualification and other documents. The PADT will also fix the number of priests for that place as well.

“Once they submit all the documents, we will start selection process,” said Tandan.

Source: Republica