Court rules against high caste monopoly in temple affairs

Last Updated: Wednesday, October 5, 2011 - 13:27

Thrissur: In a significant ruling, a
local court has ordered the end of the two-century-old `high
caste` monopoly in managing the Thiruvambadi temple, a major
partner in conducting the famous Pooram festival here.

In his order, Principal Munsiff N V Raju asked the temple
authorities to open up membership of the temple general body
and managing committee to all sections of Hindus belonging to
Chirakkal, Angady and Poonkunnam areas without the caste-bar.

The order was issued yesterday on a petition filed by two
persons -- K V Sadanandan and Kollara Ravindran -- seeking a
decision to enable all Hindus of the area to be members of the
temple committees.

The court declared as invalid the by-law of the shrine
which restricted membership of the temple panels to `high
caste` members of Hindu society like Brahmins, Nairs and
Ambalavasis.

The petitioners argued that discrimination based on caste
or casteism was out of place in a democratic state.
Reacting to the order, Thiruvambadi Devaswom President
Prof M Madhavankutty said the future course will be decided
after getting a copy of the judgement.

"We have been following the by-law of the temple drawn up
some 200 years back. We will discuss what is to be done in the
light of the court order," Madhavankutty said.

Thiruvambadi and Paramekkavu Devaswoms were established
by Sakthan Thampuran, a powerful ruler of Kochi princely
state, over 200 years back.

The two temples have since then been main partners in the
conduct of Pooram, the most spectacular temple festival of
Kerala, renowned for its elephant parade, musical ensembles
and fireworks.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, October 5, 2011 - 13:21

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