TRIVANDRUM: Leader of Opposition in the Kerala assembly, V D Satheesan on Tuesday sought stringent action against the priests who allegedly discriminated against Devaswom Minister K Radhakrishnan on the basis of caste during a function held at a temple in Kannur district recently.
The Congress leader said if anyone is trying to bring back untouchability, even after 100 years of Vaikom Satyagraha, it has to be taken very seriously, and the government has to take stringent action against the concerned people.
Terming the incident as ‘shocking and unfortunate’, Satheeshan asked why the Minister hid this fact for so long.
“He (minister) revealed this in a public meeting. My suggestion is that the government should take action against the concerned people because, 100 years ago, we conducted the Vaikom Satyagraha for the backward communities, Dalit communities. In 1936, we had a temple entry proclamation, allowing entry to backward and Dalit communities to temples in Kerala,” Satheesan said.
He said the minister should have officially complained about the incident and taken action against those who practiced untouchability.
“It should not happen, not just to a minister but to anyone in Kerala. Imagine if this could happen to a minister, then what would be the attitude of such people towards a common man?” he asked.
Satheesan said it was the responsibility of the government to initiate action against those concerned.
Otherwise, such incidents will recur elsewhere, Satheesan added.
Radhakrishnan, who hails from the Scheduled Caste community, had on Monday said two priests of a temple refused to hand over the small lamp they had brought to light the main lamp placed at the venue for marking the inauguration at the shrine.
Instead, they themselves lit the main lamp, and after that placed the small lamp on the ground, thinking that he would take it, he had alleged.
Though the minister didn’t reveal the name of the shrine, news channels aired the visuals of the recent inauguration of “nadapandal” at a temple in Payyanur in Kannur district, in which the minister participated.
It could be seen in the visuals that the priests were not handing over the small lamp to the minister and placing it on the ground.