It was indeed heartening to see Dalits entering the Muthalamman temple premises at Uthapuram village near Madurai, Tamil Nadu, on Thursday (Nov. 11). The credit should be shared by the CPI(M), the media and social activists. The only discordant note was the picture that showed an adverse reaction — of some women “wailing in disbelief.” The report shows that the district administration and the government have a lot more to do to ensure that such pernicious practices end.
J. Anantha Padmanabhan,
The photograph of some Hindus expressing anguish is a sad pointer to the fact that mental barriers/walls that divide and discriminate people on the basis of narrow parochial considerations such as caste and creed need to be demolished in order to attain/reach the goal of an egalitarian society.
B. Suresh Kumar,
The fact that Dalits enter a temple after a struggle, in this day and age shows how lip service is being paid to curbing the ugly aspects of the caste system. It is ironic that we go overboard about hosting the F1, launching satellites and talking about becoming a superpower when the real face of India lies hidden.
When I opened The Hindu today, the first page brought me unexplainable happiness and a sense of satisfaction. The smile on the faces of Dalits entering the temple was similar to a child's happy expression. What I found jarring was the expression on the faces of some women who reacted to the event.
The focus should shift from the perpetrators of this discrimination to the road ahead for the victims who have suffered impairment of their fundamental rights.
In the annals of the Tamil Bhakti Movement, there is a beautiful story against the practice of untouchability. Thiruppanar, one of the 12 Alvars, used to stand on the banks of the Cauvery looking towards the sanctum sanctorum of the Srirangam temple to sing his hymns on Lord Ranganatha. He took care to leave before the priest arrived.
But one day, he was so immersed in his thoughts that he forgot to leave. The priest went into a rage and threw a stone at him. Later, when the priest entered the sanctum sanctorum, the reclining image of Vishnu was bleeding from the exact spot the stone thrown by the priest hit Thiruppanar — the forehead. I was reminded of this when I saw the picture of some women reacting to the Dalits entering the temple. It was unbelievable and disturbing.