Taking a cue from neighbouring Kerala, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Sunday spoke in favour of appointing Dalit priests at temples in the state. “No opposition to appoint Dalits as priests at Muzrai (Department of Religious and Charitable Endowments) temples in Karnataka as done in Kerala. We will do it,” Siddaramaiah was quoted as saying in Mysuru.
In Karnataka there were about 35,000 temples under the department, a statement from Chief Minister’s Office said. In a landmark step, 36 non-Brahmins, including six Dalits, were recently recommended for appointment in various temples under the Travancore Devaswom Board in Kerala.
The Board manages at least 1,248 shrines including the famous Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala. The CPI(M)-led LDF government in Kerala had termed the appointment as a “silent revolution”.