KANNUR: The Kerala State Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (KSCSCST) has registered a case, suo motu, based on the ‘Express’ report that revealed explicit forms of caste discrimination and untouchability still being practiced in some temple festivals in North Malabar.
KSCSCST chairman Justice P N Vijayakumar said that the Commission has taken the report seriously. The exclusion of SC/ST communities from temple festival procession is a clear violation of SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, he said.
The Commission observed: “Keeping Hindus belonging to the SC/ST community away from religious functions performed inside or outside the temple is a violation of Constitutional rights and statutory legal safeguards.”
R Rajagopal, the registrar of the Commission, informed through a press statement that it has sought a report on the issue from the commissioner of Hindu Religious and Charitable Institutions, Malabar, and secretary of Malabar Devaswam Board.
The preliminary reports should be submitted with in 30 days. The matter has been posted for March 24 for further inquiry.
‘Express’ on Monday had carried a report on the discrimination against Pulaya community in the temple festival being held at Azheekal here. The Hindu Pulaya community members had been demanding that the discrimination be ended, but the temple authorities resolutely refused to change their attitude, justifying it in the name of custom.
Meanwhile, the Kerala Pattika Jana Samajam, a Dalit organisation, has decided to organise a peoples’ convention here in the first week of March to discuss various forms of untouchability and caste discrimination that are still prevalent in temples.