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.
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.