Plight of temple priests in India

We all know that India is land of gods and we are blessed to have many amazing temples around the country. Temples in south like Tirupati, Annavaram temple, Rameshwaram; in west like dwarika temple, somnath temple; in north Varanasi, Ram temple etc; Kolkata Kali temple, Sun Temple, Jagannath puri temple in Orissa are some which are always flocked by tourists and worshippers. These are just famous ones which are in my mind. There are innumerable temples in each metro city and at least 5 in each towns and villages.

After getting a clear picture now lets talk about the temple priests and their situation. Some temples like Akshardham temple don't depend on any funds from the government to pay monthly salary to the temple priests but many temples are controlled by state or central government who pay minimum wages to the priests. Inflation is rising so much in India and things are becoming expensive yet they think its okay to pay only Rs-3,000 to the priest. It is world known fact that India is dealing with the problem of corruption in its system. If you follow Indian politics and news, you will always hear about some sort of scam which involves crores of rupees. The government says that it needs funds for military, sports, communication etc and hence there is very less portion of the fund left for the temples. They have in their records that they have spent some crores of rupees in temple repairs and renovations but it is applicable to just few temples

When the government has resorted to getting corrupted in other fields then why not the temple authorities. You will find nowadays that if you want to visit whole temple or you want to see the lord properly in the tirupati temple you might have to pay for doing this. Nothing comes so easy now! There are many people who have faced this situation where you won't get prasadam or teerth if you don't pay money to the priest. I have seen the worst in Lingaraj temple, bhubaneshwar where we ended up giving Rs100 to 4 different priests for various reasons. This was the case in 2002 btw. I can't imagine what would be happening now in those places.

It is said that priests shouldn't expect anything in return. They should offer their prayer to god and worship for the well being for everyone. But they are human beings too. They too deserve to get paid. Government has been ignoring this issue and has kept its eyes shut. As a result, common devotee who goes to visit god ends up paying huge amounts sometime. Dakshina is not mandatory for everyone.

But what do you think guys, is this behavior from the temple authorities and priests acceptable ?

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