Swami Paripoornananda Saraswati of Sree Peetham has urged the government to carve out a slot – one hour anytime during the day – in major temples and provide free seva for the poor who cannot pay the prescribed fee.

He said that there was a feeling among people that special sevas for presiding deities in big temples were only for those with the money to pay for ‘special’ sevas. “There is a need to erase such a feeling,” he said.

Expressing concern at the increasing tendency of leaders from all political parties to appease the Minorities, the Swami said that such policies were hurting the sentiments of the majority sections.

Endowments policy

He underscored the need for a broad-based Endowments policy that provided for collections, offerings of devotees in big temples to be used to renovate neglected temples and ensure that ‘dhoopa-deepa’ and ‘naivedya’ were made available to devotees. The policy needed to be more comprehensive, he added. Swami Paripoornananda expressed concern at the continuing slaughter of cows, despite a law, a strong bill banning it and said that the government should take steps to effectively stop a practice that was hurting the sentiments of the majority population.