Dalits in Karnataka's Hassan denied entry into temple they helped rebuild

Tension prevailed at Kadaga village in Hassan taluk when “upper” caste people opposed the entry to members of the Scheduled Caste into the recently renovated Kalleshwara temple of the Muzrai Department on Monday morning.

The district administration has deployed policemen in the village to avoid any untoward incident.

Old structure rebuilt

Kalleshwara temple is an old structure and it was in a dilapidated state for years. Recently, the villagers decided to renovate it by raising funds from the devotees. Villagers, cutting across caste lines, had made contributions and the installation of idols was scheduled on Monday.

Chethan, a resident of the village, said, “We have every right to enter the temple. Our people have also contributed money for the temple’s renovation.”

DySP Ramakrishna Gowda, tahsildar G. Meghana, and taluk Social Welfare officer H.N. Sathish visited the village and held consultations with both sides.

The officials told the villagers that practising untouchability was against the law and those violating the law would attract legal action.


Mr. Sathish told The Hindu that the people were informed about the law and appealed to them to maintain harmony. “After our appeal, both the parties agreed that except the priests, nobody would enter the temple.”

However, Dalit activists say it is also a ploy by the “upper” castes and that they imposed a restriction on themselves to avoid the entry of SC people into the temple. Nagaraj Hettur, a Dalit activist, said, “The people opposed to entry of Dalits find this an easy way out.” This has happened in a few other instances reported in the district in the recent past.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2021 1:19:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/dalits-in-hassan-denied-entry-into-temple-they-helped-rebuild/article29263163.ece

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