74th anniversary of entry of Dalits into temple observed

The seventy fourth anniversary of the historic temple entry of the Dalits and other oppressed castes into the Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple which fell on Sunday was observed by the Amman Sannithi Gandhi Statue Committee here on Monday.

The temple entry was led by A. Vaidyanatha Iyer and on July, 8, 1939, he took a batch of five Dalits– P. Kakkan (who later became Home Minister in Kamaraj Ministry) Swami Muruganandam, Muthu, V. S. Chinnah, V. R. Poovalingam – and a Nadar -- S. S.Shunmuga Nadar – to make their first entry into the Meenakshi Temple.

Delivering the special address here on Monday, former Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president, Kumari Anandan, said that the temple entry of the oppressed castes was an event of great social significance which was successfully done by A.Vaidyanatha Iyer amidst so much of opposition from conservatives who later propagated that the temple became polluted.

They even said that Goddess Meenakshi had left the sanctum sanctorum of the Temple, he added.

He also recalled how the late Congress leader S. Satyamurti informed former premier of Madras Presidency C. Rajagopalachari that Goddess Meenakshi has not left the temple but remains there and looks much brighter than ever before on seeing the Dalits and Nadars who, he said, form the core of real working classes in the Tamil society.

Later, a group of students from Harijan Sevalayam were taken into the temple to mark the temple entry. The event was held in the presence of former MP A.G.S. Rambabu, former M.L.A., K. S. K. Rajendran and Harijan Sevalayam secretary, R. Srinivasan.

M.Chidambara Bharathi, president, Amman Sannithi Gandhi Statue Committee organised the event. Veteran freedom fighters I. Mayandi Bharathi, A.M. Lakshmanan, Sooraval Lakshmanan and A. C.Periyasamy were present.