ALAPPUZHA: S. Sudhikumar, the non-Brahmin priest in caste discrimination row, has appealed the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) anew, expressing his willingness to be considered as the Keezhsaanthi of Chettikulangara temple.
He submitted the plea to assistant commissioner of Devaswom, Mavelikara, on Friday, after the TDB authorities asked him to present for a hearing at its headquarters on Monday.
The assistant priest said he had explained the sequence of incidents till the TDB struck down his transfer.
He says the Chettikulangara Devi, the presiding deity, is Kula Devatha of Onattukara and he used to worship her since childhood as a resident within ten kilometres of the temple.
The office of the assistant commissioner said they had sent his appeal to the headquarters.
The decision to hear him out was taken at the Board meeting on Wednesday, after which TDB president Prayar Gopalakrishnan said the board wanted to know whether he was still interested in being 'Keezhsaanthi' of Chettikulangara temple.
Meanwhile, it’s learnt that Devaswom commissioner C. P. Ramaraja Prema Prasad submitted an explanation to the show cause notice served by Devaswom secretary K. R. Jyothilal, saying the Thanthri had told him the appointment of non-Brahmin priest would have far-fetched consequences and was against the temple precedence.
He also cited a Supreme Court verdict in 2015 to justify his order which the law secretary ruled illegal.
He said on Wednesday at the meeting that he issued the order shelving the transfer after Mr Sudhikumar told him that he was not interested as the situation was volatile.
"I used to be a devotee of the Devi. I know all customs and traditions the temple follows," the priest said.
"If TDB decides to review the transfer order, I would be more than happy."...