In a first of its kind move, nearly 40 staffers of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) would be receiving summons for practicing religion other than Hindu, this move comes in the backdrop of allegations of the spurt of evangelical groups in Tirumala, reported Times of India.
According to TOI, there are around 40 persons from different faith being employed in TTD, flouting the rules of the temple management. According to the rules of TTD only people from Hindu religion can be employed in TTD.
Although it is not clear on what action will the temple custodians take against the employees of different faith.
The controversy of TTD employees practicing other faith triggered off, following the viral video of a TTD official visiting and praying at a local church.
The official was Deputy Executive Officer of TTD, Sneha Latha. She was accused of visiting church every Sunday that too in the official car belonging to TTD.
An internal probe was initiated into the incident.
Seers and Agama pandits took extreme objection to the incident and have been agitated over the employment of people following a faith other than Hindu. Recently, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad appealed the custodians of the temple to identify employees from other faith and sack them.
The TTD has been austere in preserving the Hindu religion and its culture in Tirumala, earlier there were several controversies over the preaching of other faith. Following this, in 2007, AP government notified that the Tirumala, holy shrine of Lord Venkateswara will remain a place of worship only for Hindus and prohibited propagation of other religions.
Recently, the AP endowments department also barred the festivities in temples across the state on occasion of New Year. The department issued a circular stating that the celebrations of New Year is against the Hindu vedic culture.