Tamil Nadu should appoint trained persons as priests irrespective of their caste, says MK Stalin

Chennai: DMK working president MK Stalin on Sunday urged the Tamil Nadu government to appoint duly trained persons irrespective of their caste as priests in temples emulating the example of Kerala.

File image of MK Stalin. PTI

File image of MK Stalin. PTI

Days after the neighbouring state recommended appointment of 36 non-Brahmins as temple priests, Stalin said "Tamil Nadu government should learn progressive lessons," from its Kerala counterpart.

Stalin, the Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly, traced the decades old efforts of his party to appoint persons from all castes as priests in temples.

Such efforts culminated in enactment of a law during his party's previous regime in 2006, he said in a statement.

The Supreme Court had in 2015 upheld the law as valid after some people approached it challenging the move to appoint persons from all castes as priests, added.

Accusing the AIADMK regime of not implementing the law due to "vendettta as it was brought by DMK," he said a basic feature of human rights enjoined equality for all persons irrespective of their caste.

"Appointing all those who have completed training in Agamas (temple rituals) is social justice," he said and urged the state government to implement it immediately.

He said DMK would resort to agitations if trained persons belonging to all castes were not appointed as priests.

The Kerala Devaswom Recruitment Board had last week recommended appointment of 36 non-Brahmins, including six Dalits, as priests in temples being managed by the Travancore Devaswom Board.

It was the first time six people from the scheduled caste community have been recommended for the appointment as priests.

The TDB manages at least 1,248 shrines, including the famous hill shrine of Lord Ayyappa at Sabarimala.

Updated Date: Oct 08, 2017 16:47 PM

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