Dalit priest enters temple in Mandya village, assaulted

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by Vishwarupa, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. Vishwarupa

    Vishwarupa Senior Member Senior Member

    Sep 15, 2009
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    The Hindu : Today's Paper News : Dalit priest enters temple in Mandya village, assaulted

    Waking up in a hospital ward with a throbbing pain in his groin and no sensation in his legs, 30-year-old Hemmanahalli Appaji Kemparaju did not remember anything until his relatives told him that he was beaten unconscious by ‘upper caste' persons on March 15 during the annual jatre (festival) of the 400-year-old Chowdeshwari temple in Hemmanahalli near Maddur.

    It was on this day that Kemparaju, who is from a family of Dalit priests, decided to challenge a social convention that is as old as the temple.

    Kemparaju broke ranks with other Dalits and their priests, who were standing outside, and made a dash for the sanctum sanctorum of the temple.

    “My relatives told me that I had been booked by the police for obstructing ‘caste' Hindus,” said Mr. Kemparaju from his hospital bed.

    “In my office people call me ‘Sir', but in my village I cannot even enter the village temple. I decided to do something about it,” said Mr. Kemparaju, who is a manager in a courier company in Bangalore, just 70 km away.

    “The moment he entered the temple, he was surrounded by the devotees inside,” says Hemmanahalli Appaji Ravi (26), Mr. Kemparaju's brother, an employee in a leading public sector research facility in Bangalore.

    “They beat him unconscious and threw his body outside. None of us had the courage to go inside and save him. The police were there but did nothing,” he said.

    Long planned

    The attempt to enter the temple had been long planned.

    “Despite opposition from our elders, we youngsters decided we must take on the ‘caste' Hindus by entering the temple,” he said.

    Police role criticised

    Deputy Superintendent of Police M.K. Uthappa told The Hindu that one person was arrested on March 17 for the attack on Mr. Kemparaju, but was released on bail within a few days.

    “The other accused are absconding.”

    Chandrashekar Dikshit, the temple's head priest, and the prime accused in the case, refused to comment when The Hindu sought to interview him at his house next to the temple.

    Dalits in the village believe that the police are shielding the accused.

    “The accused and the local Sub-Inspector would travel on the same motorbike in public even as the official position was that the accused were absconding,” alleged Hemmanahalli Shankar, a practising lawyer in the village, and a Dalit.

    “We had submitted a memorandum to the tahsildar and the Deputy Superintendent of Police seeking police protection on March 5 itself,” said S. Dinakar, a Dalit priest.

    Dalit priests

    There are six families of Dalit priests in the village. During the jatre these priests wear the ‘Janiwara' (sacred thread).

    A week before the festival they go through a “purification” ritual, and for the next seven days take out a daily procession in the village with ceremonial drumming.

    It is they who declare the festival open, although they are only allowed to stand at a distance from the temple.

    Ownership dispute

    According to Mandya district Superintendent of Police Kaushalendra Kumar, the Chowdeshwari temple is at the centre of an ownership dispute between two rival groups of ‘caste' Hindus.

    “One group instigated the Dalits to create trouble on the day of the festival,” he said. However, he confirmed that a delegation of Dalit leaders did meet him to seek protection ahead of the festival.

    “Kemparaju has been booked for scalding the Sub-Inspector with a burning torch,” he said.

    The caste divide runs deep. To this day, members of the 130 Dalit families in this village face a range of discriminatory caste practices from the ‘upper castes'.

    For example, they must travel to the nearest town for a haircut because the local barber will not oblige them, and they must carry their own glasses and plates if they wish to eat in the local restaurants.

    In the past 15 years Dalits in Hemmanahalli have been getting access to education, and there are at least 100 Dalit graduates.

    “The ‘caste' Hindus resent this, and the fact that we do not work in their fields any longer. They were waiting for a chance to teach us a lesson,” said Mr. Dinakar.

    Until unless such atrocities does not stop in India, Missionaries will take advantage and conversion will happen.
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2012
  3. parijataka

    parijataka Senior Member Senior Member

    Oct 15, 2011
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    Abolish caste system in Hinduism.
  4. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

    Dec 17, 2009
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    The people will do what they are allowed to get away with. It will not change until the police enforce the law and the courts prosecute. Come down hard on them.
    Tronic likes this.
  5. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

    May 29, 2009
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    Law is a bitch or a toy for Indians. Nothing is going to happen until unless Dalits develop deterrence against these High cast bastards, be learned or pick up arms.
  6. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Apr 17, 2009
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    God is One and for All.
  7. SiddharthRao

    SiddharthRao Tihar Jail Banned

    Mar 31, 2012
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    Do not unnecessarily make it a caste issue. Caste is no longer binding in India. The Hindu is violently Anti-Hindu in opinion and news. Why don't they publish news of 50% Dalits being made Temple priests in Nimbudhiri Temples of Kerala. RSS trained and placed 22 Dalit Temple priests in Maharashtra. Caste system is still surviving on oxygen of Reservation System else it would have died it's slow death by now.
    balai_c likes this.
  8. lemontree

    lemontree Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

    Apr 5, 2009
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    Why dont you give us links to media reports of such incidents?

    Also please tell us if the 22 dalit temple priests in Maharatshtra are in Brahmin temples or dalit temple. With links please.

    This is a caste issue, which you cannot wish away.
  9. balai_c

    balai_c Regular Member

    Feb 6, 2011
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    It is published in The Hindu, we must look at this from other sources, to verify the truth of the story.

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