Temple worship in Kerala: Issues and controversies
Regarding the temple worship in Kerala, there have been certain controversies existing from the formation of the Devaswom Department or some years before its formation. Through historic struggles, the Hindu population of Kerala gained freedom of worship, but still there are hurdles in preserving this freedom in the true sense. It is paradoxical that even at the 83rd anniversary of the Great ‘Temple Entry Proclamation’ and the centenary of Sahodaran Ayyappan’s ‘Misra Bhojanam’ (common dining); Kerala temples become centres of caste, and gender based discrimination to the devotees. These centers of spirituality are today met with several grave issues like mismanagement, favoritism, misappropriation of funds, etc. The appointment of non-Brahmin priests in state owned temples, restriction for women of a particular age group to enter and worship in Sabarimala temple, denial of entry to non- Hindus in certain temples, etc. are the issues that widely discussed today.