Andhra Pradesh government has asked for a ban on upcoming New Year festivities on January 1 in all the temples across the state.There are currently around 15,000 major temples in the state.
In a circular issued by the Andhra Pradesh Endowments Department through the Hindu Dharma Parirakshana Trust (HDPT), it has suggested the Hindu temples to not celebrate New Year on January 1 and spend lavishly for the same. Dr C Raghavacharyulu, the Secretary of HDPT, said: “India got independence 70 years ago. But we have been following the English calendar that was made a habit during the British rule. Wishing on 1st January and celebrating it as a festival is not Indian Vedic Tradition.” Even temples have been asked not to wish devotees Happy New Year on New Year’s eve.
“It came to my notice from the Honorable Commissioner of Endowments that even Hindu temples are following the British tradition. They are wishing the devotees on 1st January and are spending lakhs of rupees on floral decorations. The Commissioner is of the opinion that it is not proper to spend money received as donation from devotees for western tradition. It should be spent only for Indian tradition,” Raghavacharyulu added. He also said the Ugadi festival, which is celebrated on the first day of Chaitra (lunar) in April, should be celebrated as per the Indian tradition.
The notification has been issued on December 21st. According to reports, the notification has been sent to Commissioner and other top officials of the Endowments Department and they have been asked to ensure that temples comply with the order. The TDP government in Andhra Pradesh led by Chandra babu Naidu is part of ruling NDA in the centre.