Smashing inequality! Dalits enter Kerala temple, ending hundreds of years of discrimination
The PKS members along with Dalits climbed the 18 holy steps on which they were restricted. This custom was being followed in the region despite the ban on temple entry being abolished in 1947.
Thiruvananthapuram: In what marked an end to the age-old custom, a Dalit group led by Pattikajathi Kshema Samithi (PKS) entered the Devasthanam temple located at Swarga in Enmakaje. The Dalit group also climbed forbidden steps that were only reserved for the ‘upper caste’ people living in the village. The PKS members along with Dalits climbed the 18 holy steps on which they were restricted.
Earlier, a Dalit resident named Krishna Mohan had done something similar. In an act of bravery, Mohan had entered the temple and climbed 18 holy steps which were forbidden. People from Krishna Mohan’s community could not believe what he did.
Pattikajathi Kshema Samithi after entering the temple, climbing the holy steps; declared the end of the age-old custom, news agency PTI reported.
This custom was being followed in the region despite the ban on temple entry being abolished in 1947. The avarnas were not allowed to enter the temple earlier. The ban was first abolished in 1936 allowing avarnas to enter the temple but came into effect in 1947 in the Kasaragod area of the Malabar region.
BM Pradeep, the district secretary of PKS said to PTI, “It’s not just the ban on entry through the holy 18 steps, but Dalits are not even allowed to watch the Theyyam performance up close. They need to stand at a distance. Even to offer dakshina to the deity, the Dalits need to hand it over to a higher caste person, who in turn will deposit it before the deity”.
Pradeep also said that the ‘prasad’ (food offered to God) is being divided among the people separately based on their caste.
According to PKS, they want to end these age-old discriminatory practices.
K Radhakrishnan, Minister for Welfare of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Backward Classes said to PTI that some people in our society still follow these evil practices and government order would not be enough to stop these age-old practices. To end the menace, social intervention is required, the minister added.
Courtesy : Mirror Now News
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