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Sopanam singer alleges caste discrimination

An alleged incident of caste discrimination against a Sopanam singer at Sree Karthyayani Bhagavathy Temple, Cheranalloor, is snowballing into a rift between the temple advisory committee and the Cochin Devaswom Board, which manages the temple.

Vinil Das, the singer, who belongs to a Scheduled Caste community, has complained of caste discrimination by a section of the members of the advisory committee. Mr. Das alleged that some members made casteist slurs at him and denied him rest room facilities. As the conflict intensified, a Devaswom official asked him to go on leave till the temple festival was over, said Mr. Das.

The singer had also moved the court besides filing police complaints. Mr. Das alleged that his predecessor had also faced similar discrimination and had sought a transfer to a temple near Thripunithura.

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However, O. Chandrasekharan, the former president of the advisory committee, denied any instance of caste discrimination against the singer. The youth joined the temple five months ago. Though the committee wrote to the board highlighting the issues, it didn’t act. The committee had asked board to move him out of the temple, as the issues affected the functioning of the temple, he said. Mr. Chandrasekharan said all the advisory committee members quit the post protesting against the attitude of the board.

Meanwhile, board president A.M. Mohanan conceded that there existed some conflicts between the artiste and the committee. Another singer was moved out of the temple following conflicts. A report has been sought on the issue, he said. The board has intervened in the issue and made arrangements for the conduct of the temple festival, he said.

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