News Leak Centre

This Kerala Temple is making history by appointing 36 Non-Brahmins and 6 Dalits to take priestly job

From time immemorial, the top post for the sacerdotal jobs in India have always under the control of the higher ranked or upper cast communities and rarely seen the scenario otherwise. However, a Kerala Temple is doing all the things to bring down the scene.

The caste system in India is the oldest form of division among the people, which is practised to this day and finds many communities being ostracised from public spheres and even places of worship.

In the latest of the happening, Kerala’s state temple-governing board tried to pull down the wall dividing the people on the fault-lines of the caste system. In the landmark initiation, 42 priests from non-Brahmin and Dalit communities were appointed, breaking the age-old social stigmas.

Kerala Devaswom Board, which is famous for managing around 3,000 Hindu temples in the state and ensuring the smooth functioning by traditional rituals and customs, has created the history when its recommendation of recruiting 36 non-Brahmin and 6 Dalit individuals as priests in temples falling under its Travancore division.

The board followed all the process of selection including a written test and an interview, the Board had also released the appointment list that includes merit and reservation appointments as well.

Kerala temple
The board followed all the process of selection including a written test and an interview

According to the local daily Mathrubhumi, Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran had directed the Board to conduct the appointments following the inclusion of merit and reservation list. A total of 62 priests have been enlisted. Of 36 selected people from the backward community, 16 found a place in the merit list.

Apart from inducting non-Brahmins, this is for the first time in the history of Travancore Devaswom Board that people from Scheduled Caste category are being employed as priests.

For communities that have faced discrimination based on their caste, opening the doors of temples by Kerala Devaswom Board is not only a sign of hope but also something other states in the country can take inspiration from.

Cow vigilantism: Scared Municipal Workers Stop Controlling Cattle Menace.

Mobs are taking over civic spaces in India. Public lynching, a barbaric form of political expression, seems to have become the new normal in India since the Modi government came to power at the Centre. The latest news report about cow vigilantism came from Mohali where Municipal Corporation’s workers are afraid to catch stray cows out of the fear of being attacked by the owners of cattle and cow vigilantes. As many as five such attacks have taken place on the municipal workers for the last one month.

“On March 10, our team went to Mataur to catch stray cattle. There, the owner of the cow that had been caught by our team, put a knife to the throat of one of our staff and threatened to slit it, if we did not release his cattle. So, we had to release the cow. That was not the first instance. People have thrashed us when we go to catch the animals,” rued municipal worker Kesar.

Last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned cow vigilantes that killing in the name of cow is not acceptable but the mere words cannot stop the self-appointed gau-rakshaks, and one can even argue that the condemnation of PM Modi over cow vigilantism was far too gentle to make a slight bit of impact on the vigilantes.

Truth be told, there is no point shovelling Gandhian words at people if there is no legal back up to discourage this horrific new dimension in India. Modi can only preach to the choir. The vast majority of Indians agree it’s wrong. That’s why they were out there in force. The trick lies in dismantling the gangs and those who are instigating these attacks.

These cold-blooded butchers are unfazed can be seen in the barbaric way a 45-year-old Muslim was killed in Ramgarh, Jharkhand, a day after the PM’s warning, by a 100-strong-mob that felt it was justified in finishing him off for ostensibly selling beef.

In March 2016, two Muslim cattle traders were found hanging from a tree in Jharkhand, allegedly by cattle-protection vigilantes. In July the same year, cow vigilantes mercilessly beat up seven Dalit men for skinning a dead cow in Una district, Gujarat. More recently, in April 2017, Pehlu Khan succumbed to his injuries in Rajasthan after a mob attacked him for allegedly transporting cows.

The chilling statement of Rajasthan’s home minister over the news is more disturbing, he told: “It is illegal to transport cows, but people ignore it and cow protectors are trying to stop such people from trafficking them.” Statements such as this are the reason why these Gau Rakshaks did not blink an eye before taking someone’s life away.

The law ministry is toying the idea of new laws for hate crimes here and there; creating new laws on hate crimes is not on their radar at the moment. There are now more than 63 acts of cow related violence since 2014, and we are sure if the words are all Modi government has for it than more will going to occur ‘in someone’s name.’

BSP plays masterstroke: Brahmin and Muslim dominated candidate list

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) on Thursday released the first list of 100 candidates for the upcoming assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh.

The BSP, which happens to be the main opposition in election-bound Uttar Pradesh, had begun finalising its list of candidates for the upcoming assembly elections in the state but had said that the announcement will be made only after Election Commission proclaims the election schedule. The list features names of more than 36 Muslim candidates, 50 upper caste leaders and also sitting Samajwadi Party MLAs.

The BSP has begun its seat allocation from its traditional stronghold Agra.

Here is the whole list:

BSPList-1483597114

BSP Chief ‘Mayawati’ fielding more ‘Muslims’ than ‘Dalits’ in upcoming UP Election.

BSP chief Mayawati on Tuesday released her ticket distribution data for the upcoming UP assembly elections in 2017.

To much surprise, she has given 97 tickets to candidates from Muslim community, 10 more than the number of tickets she has given to Dalits: 87, down from 88 in 2012 and 89 in 2007.
Mayawati’s strong outreach for Muslims is reflected in the fact that the minor community got bigger share of tickets than Dalits, who she considers her most trusted vote bank. Muslims account for roughly 19% of UP’s population and Dalits 21%, reports the Times of India.

Giving caste-wise details, in a press conference, she announced that of the 403 seats, “85 are reserved for the SCs and 87 tickets have been given to Dalits, 97 to Muslims, 106 to OBCs, 113 to upper castes (66 to Brahmins, 36 to Kshetriyas and 11 to Kayasthas, Vaishyas, Punjabis).”

The BSP chief said that she had decided the candidates long ago and there will be no change in it. She also ruled out any alliance in the coming polls.

OBCs, who account for 45% of the population, have been given fewer number of tickets this year compared to previous years. She had fielded 120 OBCs in 2007 and 113 in 2012.
Brahmins, among the upper caste, have been given the biggest share with 66 seats. This is, however, far less than 86 seats given to them in 2007 polls.

Asked if her ticket distribution data was in violation of Supreme Court’s recent order restricting political parties from seeking votes in the name of religion and caste, she said she has not gone against the apex court’s order.

She alleged that BSP was being dubbed a “casteist” party as part of a political conspiracy.
“During all the four governments, BSP has worked in the interest of all castes besides the dalits,” she said, adding that her party has also demanded quota on economic basis for the upper castes both in and outside Parliament.

She also attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi on demonetiation, alleging that he did it to divert the people’s attention as “he had failed to fulfill even a quarter of his poll promises”, including bringing back blackmoney stashed abroad.

With Agency Inputs