KOZHIKODE: The erstwhile royal family of the Zamorin here has opposed the Malabar Devaswom Board (MDB) proposal to the state government that the temples under the hereditary trustees should be attached to the administrative body. They said they would join the other trustees to oppose the implementation of any such recommendations. They hoped that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan who had promised that no such action would be taken would keep his word. The Zamorin had earlier called on the chief minister at his office along with his family members to discuss the issue.
Zamorin’s Educational Agency and Zamorin’s Central Devaswom legal advisor Govind Chandrasekhar told DC that the CM had promised the Zamorin that the state government had no plans to change the present status of the hereditary trusteeship over the temples. At present the Zamorin has the ownership of 46 temples, including five special grade temples, which generate crores of rupees as revenue. Malabar has over 1,600 temples of which more than half are controlled by the hereditary trustees. “It is a constitutional issue and we will together (along with other hereditary trustees) fight against it,” he added.
The temples in Malabar are functioning according to the Madras H.R & C.E Act 1956. The Devaswom Board Commissioner submitted the recommendations based on the report of the three-member committee headed by K. Gopalakrishnan, the first president of the MDB. The other recommendations of the committee include single bank account for transactions of all temples under the board, equal wages for all staff under the temples and direct recruitment via Devaswom Board to all posts. Former MDB president Sajjeev Maroli , whose term ended recently, said that the board members’ opinion was not sought by the commissioner on the issue. He opined that instead of different devaswom board acts for different regions, a uniform act should be implemented in the state on the lines of the act in undivided Andhra Pradesh.