Kerala Devaswom Minister K Radhakrishnan recounts facing caste discrimination at a temple

Kerala Devaswom Minister K Radhakrishnan has  made a startling revelation about the caste discrimination he allegedly faced at a temple in the state where he had gone to attend a function recently.

Radhakrishnan, who hails from a Scheduled Caste community, said he faced discrimination from the priests at the temple, who placed a lighted lamp on the ground instead of handing it over to him during the function.

Speaking at a function organised by the Velan Service Society, a Scheduled Caste community organisation, in Kottayam on Sunday, the minister recounted the incident, saying, “A few months ago, I went to a temple for an event. When the head priest there brought the lighted lamp, I thought he wanted to hand it to me. When he lit a big traditional lamp at first, I thought it might be the tradition there.


“Then, the small lamp was handed over to the assistant priest, who also lit the big one. Even then, I thought they would hand over the lamp to me, but it did not happen. He kept that lamp on the floor, expecting me to take it from there.”

He said he pointed out their hypocisy. He told the priests, “You won’t treat the money I give as untouchable, but would treat me as an untouchable.”

The incident had reportedly happened in Nambiatrakovval Siva Temple in Payyanur, on January 26, 2023.

The Devaswom minister said his intention of disclosing the matter was not to create any controversy, but to call  for a much-needed change. The caste system is a stain on society and that it isn’t easy to remove. Though the society in Kerala could change such a mindset to a great extent, it was still deeply ingrained in the minds of some individuals, he added.

Radhakrishnan, however, made it clear that he was not going to initiate a legal action against the discrimination he faced by him.

Reacting to the disclosure, Leader of the Opposition in state assembly V D Satheesan said caste discrimination against a minister is shocking news. “It is a shame for Kerala. It is not right for the minister to keep it a secret. A complaint should have been filed,” he said.