Only Hindus can apply: A job advert posted by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) Department inviting applications from the majority community for teaching and non-teaching staff for Arulmigu Kapaleeswarar Arts and Science College in Kolathur has triggered outrage in Tamil Nadu.
Denying opportunities on the basis of religion is against the Constitution. The HR&CE department is starting four new colleges, including Kapaleeswarar college in Kolathur, from 2021-22.
In an advertisement on October 13, the department said walk-in interviews for the post of assistant professors to teach BCom, BBA, BSc Computer Science, BCA, Tamil, English, mathematics courses and physical director and librarian posts is on October 18 at the campus in Kolathur. It also announced walk-in interviews for 11 non-teaching staff posts including office assistant, junior assistant, watchman and sweeper. The advertisement said for both teaching and non-teaching posts only Hindus can apply.
M Maharaja, former special government pleader, HR&CE, said the advertisement was wrong as Section 10 of the HR&CE Act, which says all staff should be practising Hindus, applies only to appointment of temple staff. K Pandiyan, former president of Association of University Teachers, said that although the department runs 36 schools, five arts and science colleges and a polytechnic college, it is the first time applications have been sought only from Hindus.
“A department run by the state government cannot discriminate on the grounds of religion and make candidates from other religions ineligible,” he said.
He also cited the example of MSS Wakf Board College in Madurai, which has several non-muslim faculty members.
T Veeramani, president of Tamil Nadu Government Collegiate Teachers Association, said the condition that only Hindus can apply was not acceptable. “The government can run the institution only according to the Constitution,” he said.
HR&CE Minister PK Sekar Babu and Commissioner J Kumaragurubaran were not available for comment.