Kerala: Priests reluctant to offer lamp to Dalit community Minister in temple
Kerala SC and ST Welfare Minister K. Radhakrishnan said he faced caste discrimination at a temple in Kannur, where he alleged that priests were reluctant to offer him a lamp.
Akhil Kerala Tantri Samajam reacted to the incident saying that the incident was part of a misunderstanding by the minister and that no one was discriminated against in the temples.
Radhakrishnan, a member of the CPI(M) central committee, entered politics from the party’s youth wing DYFI. He has been elected five times as an MLA and is currently serving as a minister.
Speaking about the incident, Radhakrishnan, a prominent Dalit leader in Kerala, said, “I have made a statement because of the recent atrocities on Dalits in the country. He told me that it hurt me to ask about the atrocities on Dalits in many states.
A Dalit man was beaten to death for asking for wages in Uttar Pradesh. A BJP leader urinated on a tribal youth in Madhya Pradesh. All these incidents point to growing caste-based violence in the country. I see these incidents as part of the Sangh Parivar’s agenda to restore the caste system,” Radhakrishnan said.
I don’t think this is an isolated case in Kerala or only in temples here. Such incidents are happening in many places. The Minister said that remnants of the caste system in Kerala still remain in the minds of some people.
Kerala has undertaken several movements aimed at eliminating the caste system and ensuring equality. We have done several revival movements in Kerala. Dalits have benefited from it. Our state has a progressive attitude. But contemporary Indian conditions give impetus to such reactionary attitudes, says Radhakrishnan.
I do not want to blame any particular section of the society in this regard. I don’t think temple priests are the only ones responsible for this discrimination. Organised struggle against the caste system is the need of the day. Our goal is a casteless society, but it cannot be achieved overnight. Instead, Radhakrishnan said that a mass movement is needed against the heinous acts that took place in that temple.