Mangaluru: Despite guidelines that non-Hindus should not be working in the Muzrai department, at least six non-Hindus have been working in the department over the last several years.
A message has been making rounds on social media, urging Hindus to take note of the issue. The message also claims that the Wakf Board that takes care of the Madarasas and the Masjids and the Haj Committee that handles the procedures of Haj pilgrimage are functioning with all members from the Muslim community exclusively. If this is the case, why must the non-Hindus be allowed to work for the Muzrai Department, questions the message.
When newskarnataka.com tried to follow up on the issue, it found that the Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments Act 1997 specifically states that the Commissioner, Assistant Commissioner and every officer appointed to carry out the purposes of this Act, shall be a person professing the Hindu religion. This means that the appointment of non-Hindu officials to the Muzrai department stands in violation of the Act.
Hindu Religious Institution and Charitable Endowments Commissioner C P Shailaja, when contacted, admitted that some non-Hindu officials are working in the Muzrai department, but she clarified that these non-Hindu officials were appointed to the department between 1990-1995, when the rules with regard to the appointment of only Hindus to the department did not even exist.
"Though a few officials are non-Hindus, they were appointed to the Muzrai department between 1990 and 1995. The Act preventing the appointment of non-Hindus to the Muzrai department came in during 2003. No non-Hindu was appointed to the department post 2003," she said.
Headquarter assistant in the Muzrai commissioner's office Jayaprakash informed that though there are six non-Hindu officials' names mentioned in the Muzrai department, only three are working now. Two died and one official has retired. If the officials voluntarily demand a transfer to other departments, we can allow them to go. But, they would not opt for a transfer to other departments, because in case they opt for the same, their seniority would lapse," he said.
Taking serious note of the issue, Dakshina Kannada district president of Vishwa Hindu Parishad Jagadish Shenava cautioned of staging a protest if the government does not take any measures to transfer the existing non-Hindu officials from the Muzrai department to other departments. "It is a clear violation of the guidelines and the government should take immediate measures to transfer non-Hindu officials from the Muzrai department to other departments", he stressed. It may be recalled that in 2016, the VHP had raised an objection to having a Muslim DC's name mentioned in a temple annual festival invitation card. This was the first incident where the issue of a non-Hindu taking charge of a Hindu temple ever came up for debate in the history of the district.
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