Thrissur: Devaswom Minister K Radhakrishnan has given 'Covid' as the reason for the withdrawal of a tender notice issued by the Guruvayur Temple administration that had triggered a controversy over its alleged casteist content.
The other day the temple administration had issued a 'quotation notice' for various activities in connection with the Guruvayur festival that is scheduled to take place between February 14 and 23.
One of the conditions stated in the notice was that the cooks and their helpers must be Brahmins. The notice was widely criticised, especially on social media.
BJP Kerala spokesperson, Sandeep Vachaspati called it an attempt to bring divide and discrimination into the Hindu community. "There is a collective effort to tell that casteism still exists among Hindus," Vachaspati wrote in a Facebook post.
Following the widespread criticism, the Devaswom Committee convened on Friday.
After the meeting, Radhakrishnan, who also holds the portfolio of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes & Backward Classes in the Pinarayi Vijayan government announced the decision to scrap the quotation notice.
Radhakrishnan made the announcement via a Facebook post. He wrote: "The quotation notice calling for Brahmins to perform the distribution of food prepared at the temple as part of the Guruvayur Temple Festival has been scrapped. I personally intervened and strictly instructed to remove the notice as soon as the matter came to my notice.
"As the festival is being held in accordance to the guidelines issued by the government due to the prevailing COVID situation, the process of preparing food and other related activities will not take place. Hence, the Devaswom Committee that met Friday decided to not invite cooks to prepare food."