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Dalits enter TN temple first time in 100 yrs

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by spnadmin, Oct 30, 2009.

  1. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Dalits enter TN temple first time in 100 yrs

    V Mayilvaganan, TNN 28 October 2009, 07:52am IS|

    NAGAPATTINAM: For the first time in a hundred years, dalits of Chettipulam village stepped inside the local Shiva temple on Tuesday, in a historic moment brought about by government and political intervention.

    Escorted by revenue and police officers, nearly 70 dalits of the village situated near Vedaranyam in Nagapattinam district entered the century-old Kamatchi Amman Sametha Ekambareswarar Temple at around 11 am and offered prayers for 25 minutes. Dressed in their best, women had brought flowers and other offerings. A group of non-dalits, including panchayat president V Manimaran, also accompanied the dalits. District collector C Munianathan himself distributed prasadam' to the dalits after the prayers.

    "It is a historic day for us. For decades, we were barred from entering the temple. All we could do for generations was to stand 10 feet away from the temple entrance and offer prayers," said Nandan alias N Natarajan, a dalit labourer. He and other dalits were greeted by non-dalits inside the temple.

    The dalits here had earlier made three attempts to enter the temple. On September 30, they found it locked. The next day they were arrested when they tried to break the lock. On October 14, when Nagapattinam revenue divisional officer Rajendran led the dalits towards the temple, violence broke out as non-dalits started pelting stones. Police fired warning shots in the air and resorted to a lathicharge. The CPI(M), spearheading the agitation, had warned of another attempt on November 2 if the government failed to ensure entry of the dalits into the temple by October 30.

    A tripartite meeting involving non-dalits, dalits and government officials was held on Monday. It was decided there that the dalits would be taken into the temple on Tuesday.

    A large of posse of police personnel was deployed in the village. On Tuesday morning, a police vehicle picked up dalits from their doorsteps and took them to the temple. Once everybody gathered in front of the temple, the collector ushered them in. Thanjavur range DIG Abhay Kumar Singh and SPs of Nagapattinam and Tiruvarur were also present.

    "The dalits need not worry about their safety in the village. They can enter the temple and offer prayers without fear. The district administration will ensure that they are not stopped from entering the temple," said Munianathan. Police would be stationed in the village for a few more days, he said.

    Meanwhile in Chennai, the CPI(M) took out a rally to highlight the rights of dalits and tribals. Later, they met chief minister M Karunanidhi and handed over a 14-point charter of demands pertaining to the welfare of Scheduled Castes and Tribes.

    Forwarded by forum member Tejwant Singh ji Malik :)
     
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  3. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Isn't it strange that these people are still Hindu's despite so much discrimination by upper caste .While Lower caste sikhs leave sikhism and become Ravidasi's or Dera follower because they are not treated equally
     
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  4. harbansj24

    harbansj24
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    Kanwardeep ji,

    There is a difference. Sikhism professes no discrimination based on caste but it is practiced rampantly especially in Punjab. This is hypocrisy.

    Whereas in Hinduism it is declared that caste is the basis of differentiation. In such circumstances to have got the right of entry is an achievement
     
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  5. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Harbans ji

    You can Go to any Hindu forum and ask this question and All the people will say that Caste is Not birth based in Hinduism.So present day Hindu scholars
    especially the urban one don't agree with it.

    On another point I agree with you that caste based discrimination is condemned Sikhism but again sikhs are Human too and It is Human nature to
    prove their superiority on others.The case is quite similar to muslims who preach islamic brotherhood but we all know that how Arabs beleive they are superior in Muslims.
     
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  6. roopsidhu

    roopsidhu
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    SSA,
    I can not understand why we are bent upon to blaim the dalits only for leaving the sikhism. Are the dalits only responsible for conversions. Why don't we equally blaim the existing caste based discrimination in sikhism also. If we have to keep the dalits in sikhism, we have to correct the existing problems, just blaiming the one party is not going to do anything right in this situation.
    Roopsidhu
     
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