Kerala yet to achieve ‘equal social justice’, says Sivagiri Mutt chief

Varkala: Kerala’s influential Sivagiri Mutt said on Thursday that “equal social justice” is yet to be achieved in the state and that Brahminical dominance is still prevalent in relation to the priesthood in major temples there.

Only those who belonged to the Brahmin community can apply for the post of priest in well-known shrines like Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa Temple, Guruvayur Sree Krishna Temple, Chottanikkara Bhagavathi Temple, Vaikom Mahadeva Temple, and so on, it said.

The Sivagiri Mutt is a major spiritual centre of the state’s numerically strong Ezhava community.

The governments of the CPI (M)-led LDF and the Congress-headed UDF issued circulars seeking Brahmins as priests in these temples during their respective tenures, said Sachidananda Swamy, president of Sree Narayana Dharma Sangham Trust, which manages the monastery.

He was speaking in a programme organised at the Sivagiri Mutt here in connection with the 169th birth anniversary celebrations of legendary social reformer and saint Sree Narayana Guru, the founder of the mutt.

A 20th century spiritual leader and social reformer, Guru propagated the philosophy of “one caste, one religion, and one God for mankind”.

What Sree Narayana Guru wanted was not just the right to offer prayers at temples but the right for everyone to conduct pujas and rituals there and manage those shrines, cutting across any difference, he said.

Sachidananda Swamy asked how far the state could go forward in the area of social reformation after the samadhi of Guru.

The state should be able to attain “equal social justice” by imbibing the thoughts of the Guru and carrying forward the lamp of revolution and reformation he tried to implement. “Has Kerala achieved equal social justice?” Swamy asked.

Alleging that the Secretariat, the administrative hub in the state capital, is a ‘thamburan kotta’, a fortress of privileged people, he also urged to bring a change in such matters.

Despite several announcements and the formation of many political parties and movements in these years, the state could not achieve much more in terms of social renaissance than what was created by the Guru.

He also urged the state government to make ‘Daiva Dasakam’, penned by Sree Narayana Guru as the official prayer song of Kerala.

Though several requests had been submitted in this regard before in these years, no action has been taken so far, Swamy criticised.

Kerala Tourism Minister Mohammad Riyas along with many ruling and opposition MLAs were among the dignitaries present on the stage when Swamy made the critical remarks.

Swamy recently criticised Assembly Speaker A N Shamseer stating that his remarks on Lord Ganesha had hurt the sentiments of the faithful and urged him to tender an unqualified apology in this regard.

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