Appointment of non-brahmin priests is a silent revolution, says Kadakampally
Thiruvananthapuram: Devaswom minister Kadakampally Surendran stated that the government’s decision to appoint non-brahmin priests in temples is a silent revolution in Kerala. The government has appointed 36 non-brahmin priests, including 6 Dalits, in temples under the Travancore Devawom Board.
“The appointment procedure was carried out according to the merit list and reservation list without any corruption. Though the Dalits were allowed to enter temples with the historic Temple Entry Proclamation, they were kept away from the sanctum sanctorum of temples,” said minister while addressing a press meet here.
Indicating that more such appointments are on the anvil, he said there are more than 3,000 vacancies in different shrines managed by five temple boards -- TDB, Cochin Devaswom, Malabar Devaswom, Guruvayur Devaswom and Koodalmanikayam Devaswom.
Due process was followed to ensure transparency in appointments, he said.
"A new history has been scripted by ensuring reservation as enshrined in the Constitution with the appointment of Dalits as priests," he said.
However, he said, reservation was not the prime consideration for selection. Those who have knowledge of rituals were appointed as priests.
Like Dewasom Board, dalit priests were not appointed in temples under trusts. There is a situation in Kerala that Dalits and Backward castes are not appointed in temple-related jobs like ‘Kazhakam’.
The minister said that Kerala has rewritten the history by making constitutionally recommended reservation in the appointment of priests.
“Earlier, people from higher castes, who lack experience in priesthood, bribed officials to get appointed as priests. With this decision, such corruption can be avoided,” said the minister.
He stated that he will examine the scope of reservation in the appointment of priests in Sabarimala temple.
He also informed that Malabar Devaswom Amendment Bill will be discussed in the assembly.
Kadakampally Surendran thanked the national media which published the revolutionary decision of Kerala Government across India. He also expressed his sincere gratitude to actor Kamal Hassan and DMK leader MK Stalin for supporting the government.
Watch Kadakampally's press meet here: