The Karnataka government is contemplating appointing non-Brahmin priests, including those from the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes, at the many temples run by the government.
The recommendation in the sixth annual report of the SCST welfare legislature committee was tabled in the legislative assembly on Wednesday.
The report pointed out that non-Brahmins should be allowed to become priests (archakas) in temples and that reservation for those belonging to the upper castes was unconstitutional.
There are about 35,000 temples under the department of religious institutions and endowment (muzrai) in the state.
The Times of India reports that, the committee headed by legislator K Shivamurthy maintained that equal opportunities must be provided to member of every caste and that the government must introduce a reservation policy in their recruitment.
The committee held that not allowing non-Brahmins to become temple priests was also contrary to Article 14 (equality before law), Article 15 (prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth) and Article 16 (equality of opportunities in matters of public employment).
In 2006, the DMK government in Tamil Nadu had issued an order and subsequently an ordinance, to introduce the provision of making any Hindu, with requisite qualification and training, could be made temple priests.
Upholding a templeās right to appoint its priests, the Supreme Court had said in 2015 that there shall be no discrimination based on caste, while appointing temple priests.