The Nair Service Society (NSS) has taken a serious view of what they termed the campaign against the proposed Devaswom Recruitment Board.

In a statement issued here, NSS general secretary G Sukumaran Nair said the proposal for recruitment to the Devaswom Boards through the Kerala State Public Service Commission would not stand legal scrutiny. The PSC, by definition, was a secular organization and entrusting the body with powers on appointments to the temple administrative machinery would amount to subjecting the Hindu religious organization to an administrative control which no other religious institutions had to go through, he said.

Instead, the recruitment to the Devaswoms should be entrusted to a Devaswom Recruitment Board in which only Hindu members were present.

The recruitment procedure should follow all reservation formalities, he said.

According to Mr Nair, the interests of the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and backward classes would in no way be affected if the appointments were held through the proposed Devaswom Recruitment Board. Any campaign to the contrary was just propaganda by vested interests, he said.

As of now, 33 per cent of the seats have been reserved for the scheduled tribes, scheduled castes and backward classes in the Devaswom appointments. With the reservation ceiling being 50 per cent, the balance 17 per cent should be earmarked for the financially backward among non-reservation communities, Mr. Nair said. The NSS has officially taken up the matter with the appropriate authorities and the government would have to implement it, he added.

If the reason for the opposition to the proposed Devaswom Recruitment Board stemmed from the demand for 17 per cent reservation for the economically backward from non-reserved communities, the NSS was ready to take strong measures against such social injustice, the NSS general secretary said.

The Kerala High Court-appointed Justice Paripoornan Commission which looked into the corruption in Travancore Devaswom Board, had made recommendations for the constitution of the Devaswom Recruitment Board and the State government had expressed the willingness to accept the recommendation, Mr Nair said.