Hindu Temple Struggles to Find English Speaking Priests

July 28, 2005

Source: BBC News


On July 28, 2005 BBC News reported, "For the team behind what will be one of Europe's largest Hindu temples there is a new addition to the long list of daily tasks - fighting government immigration policy. After eight years and getting on for £7.5m, the battle to transform a desolate West Midlands industrial site should soon be won. The bulk of the looming Shri Venkateswara Balaji Temple in Tividale is already built... But there is a problem - they cannot find enough traditionally trained Indian priests and, while the government says candidates must speak English, they do not believe they will be able to do so. The lack of these scholarly pujaris has left many at the temple feeling 'uncomfortable' and efforts to change ministers' minds are underway. Former Home Secretary David Blunkett introduced the English language rules to ensure priests 'can speak to and for their congregations', but the Hindu Council says the move has left many other temples facing similar problems."