New Delhi: The appointment of 36 non-Brahmin priests, including six Dalits, in temples in Kerala is a "major step" to ensure that "all Hindu believers get their due share in priestly functions", the CPI-M has said.
When Yedu Krishnan, 22, began his priestly functions at the sanctum sanctorum of the Shiva temple at Valanjavattom in Pathanamthitta district, it was a historic first -- a Dalit priest at a major temple in Kerala, an editorial in the CPI-M journal People's Democracy said.
The Travancore Devaswom Recruitment Board (TDRB) decided to appoint six Dalits as priests along with 30 other non-Brahmin priests.
The Board, which manages more than 1,200 temples, functions under the supervision of the state government. The reservation for backward classes and Dalits was instituted for the first time.
"This is a major step taken to ensure that brahmanical considerations are replaced with anti-caste democratic approaches to ensure that all Hindu believers get their due share in priestly functions," the editorial said.
"This step has been welcomed by all sections of public opinion in Kerala - except RSS sections," it added. "This is in contrast to the wide appreciation of the radical step taken by the LDF government all over the country."