BC front's rally to TDB office today

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, NOV. 27. The Dalit and Backward Classes Front would stage a march to the Travancore Devaswom Board office here on Tuesday demanding more representation to the Backward Classes in temple administration and performing tantric rites.

The Front chairman, Mr.Vellapally Natesan, told presspersons here today that the upper caste lobby was trying to keep off the Backward Classes from key posts of the Travancore, Cochin, Guruvayur and Kadampuzha Devaswom boards. A Dalit should be made president of the Malabar Devaswom Board which would come into existence soon, he said.

Mr.Natesan and the front general convenor, Mr.P.Ramabhadran, said the board should put an end to all social evils which prevail in the temples. Temple entry still has been restricted to Hindus at least in certain places now. All those who have faith in God should get the freedom to enter the temples, they said.

The Dalits trained in tantric rites should be appointed as priests. The trained Dalits who were appointed earlier were harassed and compelled to change their designation. Caste should not be an impediment for worshipping God. The board should give due representation to the Backward Classes in appointments in schools and colleges run by the board.

Unless the BCs get sufficient representation in temple administration, it would be difficult to do away with the outdated customs which are still rampant in the temples, they said. The front wanted the board to publish the caste-wise list of the employees, they said.

As many as 25,000 front activists in Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram would participate in the march which would begin from the Press Club at 11 a.m. and reach the board office through Secretariat, Palayam, Museum and Nanthencode.

Asked about the agitation going on in Alappuzha against Mr.Natesan holding the president's post in Kanichukulangara Devaswom, Mr.Natesan said that he was elected to the post through secret ballot.

The front leaders, Mr.Barton Hill Surendran, Mr.K.Raman Kutty, Mr.K.A.Bahuleyan, Mr.K.Ambujakshan and Mr.Vakkanad Raghavan were also present.