Dalits enter Tamil Nadu temple after 80 years despite opposition
Dalit families entered a temple after 80 years amid heavy police deployment in Tamil Nadu’s Thiruvannamalai on Sunday. For the past 80 years, they have been denied access.
By Pramod Madhav
Nearly 300 men, women, and children belonging to Scheduled Caste (SC) entered a temple in Tamil Nadu with full police protection even as they faced opposition from upper caste communities on Sunday.
Muthu Mariyamman Temple at Thandarampattu in Thiruvannamalai comes under the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Board, where a 12-day festival is conducted annually during Pongal.
However, Dalit families were not given temple access for the past 80 years, and this year, representatives from the community sought permission from the village heads to allow them to participate in the festival for a day and allow entry into the temple.
However, after the village heads refused, they approached Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) authorities in Thiruvannamalai and filed a petition, prompting an investigation.
After confirming that Dalits were not allowed inside the temple, HR&CE officials decided to make sure that Dalits were allowed entry.
On Sunday, with heavy police protection, they scripted history. Upper-caste communities registered their protest after government officials reiterated that temples belong to everyone.
Several Dalit families walked into the temple carrying garlands and items to cook Pongal and had the deity’s darshan.
On Monday, Chief Minister MK Stalin, Assembly Speaker Appavu, Cabinet ministers, MPs and MLAs of DMK, chief secretary, and other senior government officials took an oath against untouchability on Mahatma Gandhi’s death anniversary.
This is the third such incident of temple entry of Dalits facilitated by HR&CE and district authorities in Tamil Nadu this month.
Courtesy : India Today
Note: This news piece was originally published in indiatoday.com and used purely for non-profit/non-commercial purposes exclusively for Human Rights
Leave a Reply