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Kerala’s Communist Government likely to dissolve Devaswom Recruitment Board by handing over temple recruitment to PSC

The board was constituted depending on the recommendations of a single member commission comprising former Kerala High Court judge K S Paripoornan

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Temples of Kerala. Representational Image., Pixabay

Sept 10, 2016: The Left Democratic Front (LDF) government in Kerala has decided to dissolve the Devaswom Recruitment Board by handing over temple recruitment, with the exception of those performing rituals, to the Public Service Commission (PSC).

The decision comes amidst a continuing stand-off between the CPI(M) and its allies on the one side and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its feeder organizations on the other over matters connected with the management of temples and allowing entry of women at the Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple, reported a leading news portal.

This will in fact harness the powers of four Devaswom boards in Guruvayur, Travancore, Malabar and Cochin managing around 3,000 temples.

On Thursday, a bill was introduced by the State Cabinet in the Kerala Assembly to assist recruitment from a common eligibility list to be prepared by the PSC, that is, for usurping the rights of the Kerala Devaswom Recruitment Board, reported swarajyamag.com.

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This process is in progress with the passing of the bill, last year in 2015, to replace decree introduced by the previous United Democratic Front (UDF) government, that actually set up the Kerala Devaswom Recruitment Board, taking the first step towards the disbanding of the board.

The board was constituted depending on the recommendations of a single member commission comprising former Kerala High Court judge K S Paripoornan.

Temples dedicated of Swami Ayyappan, Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Temples dedicated of Swami Ayyappan, Image source: Wikimedia Commons

The Hindu Aikyavedi, an organization under the Sangh Parivar umbrella, is in the forefront of the campaign against the LDF government over issues of temple rituals and faith.

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The organization staged a sit-in by the leaders of various like-minded outfits in front of the Secretariat on Wednesday alleging that the LDF government was being privy to efforts to destroy the very foundations of faith at Sabarimala and other temples.

A lot of criticism is faced with the decision regarding the High Court’s intervention against the religious sentiments of a particular community.

A Bill, to replace the Ordinance, was passed by the State Assembly in 2015. Once the new Bill leaving recruitment to Devaswoms to the PSC is enacted, the present recruitment board will cease to exist.

– prepared by Arya Sharan of NewsGram with inputs from various sources

Next Story

Kerala Government Decides to Revise The List of Women Who Prayed at Sabarimala

The list of 51 women is not part of an affidavit but only referred to by the state government counsel in his arguments. Soon the list was highlighted in the media

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Image Source: Wikipedia Commons

Stung by widespread criticism over the numerous errors in the list of women who prayed at the Sabrimala temple, the Kerala government has decided to re-prepare the list.

A counsel of state government had presented the list in the Supreme Court on Friday, which reportedly had discrepancies in the age and names of women. The list was taken from the records of the online system, through which pilgrims register for having “darshan”.

The row erupted over flaws in the actual age of some of the 51 women, whom the counsel had referred to in the list as “banned” — on account of they being of menstruating age group of 10 to 50 years — who prayed at the temple this season.

State police chief Loknath Behera on Saturday asked senior officials to revise the list, which included even the name of men, besides several of the women above 50.

State Devasom (temples) Minister Kadakampally Surendran told the media that his department has no role in the preparation of the list, while the president of the Travancore Devasom Board – custodian of the temple, A. Padmakumar said they are not responsible for this as they do not prepare statistics of the pilgrims in the temple.

Kanam Rajendran, state secretary of the Communist Party of India – the second biggest ally of the ruling Pinarayi Vijayan government, said the entire responsibility of what has happened lies with the state government.

Sabarimala
Kerala to revise list of women who prayed at Sabarimala.

But the Industries Minister E.P. Jayarajan, the closest aide of Vijayan, defended him by saying that it is not just 51 women, but so many women have had “darshan” at the temple.

Kanaka Durga and Bindu Ammini, both in the “banned” age group of 10 to 50 years, prayed at the Sabarimala temple.

It was after they approached the apex court seeking security for having safe “darshan” that a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice Dinesh Maheshwari directed the state government to arrange adequate protection for them.

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The list of 51 women is not part of an affidavit but only referred to by the state government counsel in his arguments. Soon the list was highlighted in the media.

“This goof-up reveals the abject failure of the way Vijayan is running the state,” said state BJP president P.S. Sreedharan Pillai.  (IANS)