Parts 1 to 5 of this series can be accessed here. This is Part 6.
Who makes the rules? Government Or TTD?
As per Sec.153 of Act 30/1987, the power to make rules vests in the State Government and is not within the province of the TTD. So, the TTD cannot apply the age of superannuation applicable to its other employees, to erstwhile MirasiArchakas.
Justice M.S Ramachandra Rao says:
“The TTD ought to have taken note of the fact that the State Government as well as the Supreme Court have time and again treated hereditary Archakas as a special category entitled to special benefits (not on par with other employees of the TTD) notwithstanding the abolition of hereditary rights with a view to preserve customs and usage and sanctity of religious rituals handed to the present generation of Archakas from their ancestors from generation to generation and ensure that traditional temple rituals are performed strictly as per the particular Sastra governing the temple. In my considered opinion, the trust Board of the TTD did not keep in mind the above relevant factors in mind and erroneously came to the conclusion that rules applicable to other employees of TTD including the age of superannuation automatically apply to the petitioners (MirasiArchakas) as well.” (emphasis mine)
G.O.1171 dated Dec 16, 1987, does Not apply to MirasiArchakas – HC
The HC also noted that the “G.O.1171 dated Dec 16, 1987, would apply only to persons appointed under the said G.O for the first time after Dec 16, 1987, and not to persons like the petitioners who hail from families of hereditary Archakas in the TTD temples and who are covered by Resolution No.2 dated Jul 17, 2010.”
The matter was listed in the HC on four different dates for the government to file a counter-affidavit, which it did not. The HC observed in its judgement: “This is no less significant.”
HC Strikes down TTD Board Resolution 50:
TTD Board passed a Resolution No.50 dated May 16, 2018, wherein it resolved that all religious staff who had attained the age of 65 should be retired with immediate effect.
The HC ordered that the Trust Board of the TTD has no jurisdiction to pass Resolution No.50 dated May 16, 2018, to apply to petitioners (MirasiArchakas) rules which apply to TTD’s other employees and the TTD has no jurisdiction to issue proceedings No.TS3/18528/AEO(G)/2010 dated Jun 27, 2018, retiring the petitioners (MirasiArchakas) at the age of 65 years.
The HC held that “Resolution 50 dated May 16, 2018, of the TTD Board as well as the Proceedings No: TS3/18528/AEO(G)/2010 dated 27/06/2018 issued by the TTD Board are illegal, unconstitutional and violative of Article 14 and 25 of the Constitution of India and the petitioners (MirasiArchakas) cannot be made to retire on attaining 65 years of age; the Resolution No.50 dated May 16, 2018, and the proceedings are accordingly set aside; and the respondents (TTD and Govt of AP) are directed to forthwith restore the services of petitioners (erstwhile MirasiArchakas) as SambhavanaArchakas in Sri Padmavathi Ammavari Temple, Tiruchanur and allow them to discharge their duties as such as long as they are physically fit.” (emphasis mine)
TTD Board Resolution 50 was passed by the board appointed by the TDP Government with Sri Putta Sudhakar Yadav as the Chairman. This resolution was passed in the very first board meeting presided by him right on the day he took oath as the Chairman, TTD. Besides retiring certain other erstwhile MirasiArchakas, the board resolved to retire:
- Sri A.P Srinivasamurthy Dikshitulu from Peddinti family.
- Sri A.S Narayana Dikshitulu from Paidipalli family.
- Dr. A.V Ramana Dikshitulu from Gollapalli family.
And issued their retirement proceedings (orders) accordingly.
It is this very resolution No.50 that the HC of AP has set aside at a later date as unconstitutional and violative of Article 14 and 25 of the Constitution of India in its order in WP 38118 of 2018.
Need I say more?
The truth is that TTD had submitted its review petition of the above AP HC order and obtained the customary submission number. But it has neither been admitted nor heard as on date. Yet, it keeps telling the Archakas that the matter is in court.
Here is the list of the erstwhile ArchakaMirasdars who were retired under the untenable G.Os and impugned Board Resolutions:
- 2018; Sriman A.B Seshadri and Sriman M.G Murali of Sri Padmavati Ammavari Mandir, Tiruchanur. Both went to AP High court with WP 38118 of 2018 and won. Yet to be restored their right to Archakatvam by TTD. Contempt petition filed and is pending before AP High Court.
- 2018: Sriman Dr. A.V Ramana Dikshitulu (Dr. AVRD), the Pradhana Archaka, Tirumala, Sriman A.S Narasimha Dikshitulu, Sriman Ramachandra Dikshitulu, Sriman Venkata Dikshitulu.
(Dr. AVRD wasn’t restored to his earlier position as Pradhana Archaka till date. I am aware that he has refused two insignificant positions of compromise offered in writing by the TTD as he has every right to Kainkaryam with Sambhavana under both the Court’s orders in the case filed by similar victims of the devious designs of the TTD.)
- 2019: Sriman M.G Srinivasan, Tiruchanur and Sriman Venkata Dikshitulu (Circar Archaka) were retired.
Circar Archaka: Circar here doesn’t denote government. These are hereditary members of the fifth family, apart from the 4 Hereditary ArchakaMirasdars. A representative of the family also has Kainkaryam rights since time immemorial. In the event of Jatha Soucham or MruthaSoucham in any of the 4 hereditary Archakas family when they have their Vantu (turn) to do Kainkaryam to Bhagawan and cannot enter the GarbhaGruham for 13 days, the right to perform the Nithya Kainkaryam doesn’t pass on to one of the other three families. It is the turn of the Circar Archaka to stand-in, in such eventualities.
- 2020: A.T Narasimha Dikshitulu, erstwhile Mirasi/SambhavanaArchaka of Sri Govindarajaswamy Mandir, Tirupati was retired compulsorily.
TTD retires Sriman A.T Narasimha Dikshitulu in April 2020:
Despite such favourable Judgements both from SC and the HC of AP, TTD brazenly retired another erstwhile MirasiArchaka of Tirupatamma family, Sriman A.T Narasimha Dikshitulu, who was rendering Archakatvam on Sambhavana basis at the Sri Govindarajaswamy Mandir, Tirupati vide proceedings TS3/11033/AEO/2019 dated Apr 14, 2020 (Proceedings of TTD attached as TTD Retirement order to Sri ATND).
- TTD resorts to same G.O.1171, 855, 611 and Board Resolution 50 to retire him.
- HC had clearly stated that 1171 and 611 are Not Applicable to erstwhile hereditary MirasiArchakas and only to first-time Archaka appointees under the G.O 855 etc.
- HC has set aside Board Resolution 50 as unconstitutional and violative of Article 14 and 25 of the Indian Constitution in its order in WP 38118 of 2018.
Sriman Narasimha Dikshitulu writes to TTD:
On Apr 20, 2020, citing the Judgments of both SC and the HC of AP, Sriman A.T Narasimha Dikshitulu made a representation to the E.O TTD not to retire him on the pretext of retirement age of 65 years and continue him to render Kainkaryams with Sambhavana as usual till his limbs co-operate.
TTD’s reply to Sriman Narasimha Dikshitulu’s letter:
TTD in its warped wisdom replied vide ROC No: TS3/18528/2010:
- After careful examination of his request with reference to rules prevailed vide 2nd to 4th cited, it is hereby informed that the request is not tenable and he is going to retire on attaining the age of 65.
- The G.O cited to arrive at this decision as in the letter the points 2nd to 4 are No.2. G.O. 1171 dated Dec 16, 1987, 3rd. G.O. 611 dated Oct 16, 2012, and 4th TTD Board Resolution 50 dated May 16, 2018.
- The HC Order has clearly stated that G.O.1171 and 611 are Not Applicable to the hereditary MirasiArchakas.
- Board Resolution 50 has been set aside by the HC.
Look at the relevant portion of the reply proceedings of the TTD to Sriman A.T Narasimha Dikshitulu:
“The said request of the above Archakas is examined in detail and hereby inform that when the hereditary rights were abolished by the Government of AP and the same was upheld by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in WP No 638/1987 the request of the petitioners not to go for fresh recruitment for the appointment of Archakas from eligible candidates to render Kainkaryams to Srivaru, Tirumala is not tenable. It is nothing but requesting the competent authority to continue hereditary rights to erstwhile Mirasi Archaka families and violate the orders of the Hon’ble Supreme Court Judgement made in WP No 638/1987 and the consequential amendments carried out by the Government of AP to the Endowments Act 30/1987.”
This is an intentional misrepresentation of the Supreme Court Order by the TTD. In my opinion, a total fraud on the Dikshitulu by TTD and contempt of both the SC and the HC of AP.
The TTD selectively quotes the Abolishment of the Hereditary Mirasi by the Supreme Court…What is deliberately fails to take into account is that the same Supreme Court restored the rights of the MirasiArchaka to perform their religious duties to uphold the customs etc., in its later order in the IA no 4 of 1997 and the HC of AP Judgement in WP 38118 is still in force.
What a sham this TTD administration is!
Hidden intentions of TTD, now in open:
Mirasi may have been abolished. And upheld by the SC. But the same SC also upheld the right of the erstwhile ArchakaMirasidars to discharge their religious responsibility. To the MirasiArchakas, performing Kainkaryam is their hereditary property. Bequeathed to them through 40 Plus generations. Their right to property is now denied. Their property of performing Kainkaryam to Bhagawan is forcibly seized. Their service to the Mandir’s culture, its tradition, their right to touch the Bhagawan, perform Nithya pujas, Alankaram, Tirumanjanam (Abhishekam) is abruptly taken away by a cultureless board and an equally despotic government.
A clear contempt of both the courts. The series of such retirements of the MirasiArchakas and the latest compulsory retirement of an erstwhile MirasiArchaka quoting selective court orders raises serious doubts on the intentions of the TTD. On its Dhimmi Hindu officers. A politically appointed board that has no sense of Dharma. Successive greedy and cultureless governments that have no clue on the traditions of a great Hindu Mandir. The hidden intentions of the TTD is now glaringly open. Illegally retiring the members of the 4 families one by one over years. Finish the erstwhile MirasiArchakas. Finish off the glorious tradition. Have pliant Archakas in employment. And you have total control of the mandir including what is rendered inside the GarbhaGruham and various rituals thereof.
My original question “Why is TTD against the MirasiArchakas? The protectors of rituals and customs can have only one answer:
Destroying a culture is a sure way of destroying a civilization.
My final opinion:
The officials in the TTD are keeping the CM of AP in dark. Even if they are briefing him selectively, the CM being a Christian has no clue on the inside mandir affairs, its culture, tradition and generations of rituals. Most of the current officials belong to the Naidu camp. The Chairman has little grasp on these religious matters. He and his nephew, the CM is being led on the wrong path by the trio of E.O, A.E.O and Dollar Seshadri. I get this impression because when Sriman Ramana Dikshitulu met the CM on the subject of his reinstatement, the CM expressed surprise and said, “They told me you have been taken back.” Is it likely that the head of the State was also under the impression (like many in the public even today) that he was restored to his earlier position as Pradhana Archaka? Not really. Dr Dikshitulu was only offered the position of Agama Advisor and when he protested, another inconsequential position by the TTD on an honorary basis. He turned it down politely and demanded the restoration of his right to the property of Archakatvam. A property bequeathed by generations of his family members. A position which he held prior to the forcible retirement. The serious cultural Droham and assault on the tradition by TTD and the government is yet to be rectified. I also wonder sometimes if the Uncle-Nephew duo is playing games with the tradition. I know for sure that the uncle believes in the Bhagawan. And he knows that Balaji will not wait for our next Janma. Bhagawan’s actions are swift and right in this Janma. In this Yuga. There won’t be any warning of flashes of light, Mr Subba Reddy.
I also see a parallel in Modi heading the government, while Congress-leaning Babus calling the shots in certain crucial ministries to the situation in TTD and in A.P Government. Here, the board members are CM’s handpicked appointees, but TTD is still run by Naidu henchmen who are deeply entrenched in the system. I writing this because the A.P Government brought out a G.O.439 dated Oct 21, 2019 (which is almost a replica of its earlier G.O.76). This G.O is applicable to all hereditary Archakas other than Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (G.O.439 attached). Very clearly, the evil eye is set on the biggest of the Hindu Mandirs.
I have identified three people who should be shunted out in order to restore some Dharmic values in the mandir administration inside the mandir. The current E.O Anil Kumar Singhal, the Additional E.O Dharma Reddy and Navalpakkam Dollar Seshadri. These three are evil. And are Naidu’s men deeply embedded to mislead any government.
Wonder why the CM hasn’t stepped in to keep his pre-poll promise made in a public meeting on restoring Sriman Ramana Dikshitulu (and others) to their original positions?
If the Chief Minister is fully aware of what is happening and shedding a crocodile tear, then
CM Jagan deserves an Oscar.
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.