Breaking with tradition, Hassan officers take Dalits into temple

Dalits offering prays at Kariyamma Temple at Arakere. Photo: Special Arrangement  

Officers of the Hassan district administration, on Tuesday, took around 25 Dalits into Kariyamma Temple in Arakere village in Arasikere taluk amidst opposition from upper castes. All these years Dalits were denied entry into the temple and upper castes had opposed allowing them to the temple.

Assistant Commissioner E.Vijaya, Arasikere Tahsildar N.V.Natesh and others took Dalits to the temple. N.V.Natesh, the Tahsildar, told The Hindu that the administration succeeded to take the Dalits into the temple around 5.30 pm on Tuesday. “Of course, there was an opposition from the upper-caste people. They did not come to the temple when we officers took the Dalits in”, he said.

Representatives of Madiga community recently submitted a memorandum to the Hassan district administration alleging that they were being denied entry into the temple of the local deity. They also complained that the Scheduled Castes of the village were being discriminated against in the Kariyamma festival. Senior officers of the taluk held a meeting in the village on Sunday to resolve the differences. However, the upper castes preferred cancelling the festival to allowing Dalits into the temple.

The officers held a second meeting on Tuesday and took the Dalits into the temple defying the century-old system of keeping Dalits away from the temple. No representative of the upper castes attended the meeting.

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Printable version | Sep 25, 2021 10:42:41 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/hassan-officers-take-dalits-into-kariyamma-temple/article8388724.ece

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