The Karnataka government is mulling the possibility of appointing astrologers in temples run by the Muzrai department. While the recommendation is still in the consideration process, the move is said to be aimed at stopping 'fake astrologers' from duping people.
The Congress government that once spoke about an anti-superstition law across the state is now considering a request by state union of astrologers and astrology teachers to appoint qualified, astrologers in temples run by the Muzrai (endowments) department. Muzrai minister Rudrappa Lamani has assured the representatives that a decision would be taken after discussions on same at a meeting of religious council.
If the recommendation is approved, the department is likely to appoint specialists who hold certificates in the study of astrology and those who have completed the ancient Hindu system of architecture, 'Vastu Shastra'. The appointments, according to the representation of astrology teachers, will restrict unqualified miscreants from duping people and fleecing them.
The current suggestion is to appoint astrologers in cities and towns in the first phase on a fixed monthly honorarium. These government-appointed astrologers, unlike priests, will not be permanent employees. Instead, they would be allotted fixed time when people can consult them at the temples where they are appointed.
The department will also announce a fixed fee that ought to be collected from visitors. Representatives of the state union for astrologers claimed that there were over 20,000 persons in Karnataka who have completed different astrological and Vasu Shastra courses. These full-fledged courses are conducted by Sanskrit University. The union has requested the government to assign them work in temples run by the Muzrai department.
While the recommendation is only at a consideration stage, the department's move to encourage such ideas are in gross contradiction to Siddaramaiah's rationalist ideas. Moreover, such recommendations come at a time when the Congress government is already under fire for consigning the anti-superstition bill into cold storage due to lack of consensus among its own leaders.