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THROUGH QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
It is the bitter experience of Hindu pilgrims that they are
exploited and harassed by unscrupulous Pandas priests in the pilgrim
centre. How can this be eradicated?
This is a fundamental problem. Or, rather, it is the symptom of a
fundamental problem. Hence, one should go to its root, to be able to
solve it. The Pandas and priests exploit and hams the
pilgrim for the sake of money. Its cause is poverty.
Lack of proper education and culture has worsened it further. As a
result, they have lost whatever respect and status they once enjoyed
in our society. That these professions are hereditary is another
cause for their degradation since they can get them without any
competition or training.
A commission of experts in this field
should study this problem in depth and prescribe proper remedies.
However, an attempt may be made here to suggest some remedies at
These professions should not be
Those interested and inclined towards it
should be given a thorough training spread over twelve years.
During the period of training, the students should be provided
with free board and lodging as also attractive scholarships.
Only those who have successfully
completed such training, should be appointed as priests and
Pandas. It is equally necessary that they be well paid, the
salary being at least equal to that of a lecturer in a college.
They should discharge their duties on
They must have a say in the
administration of the temples and pilgrim centres.
Our society should learn to look upon
them with greater regard and reverence.