Dalits enter Perumal temple for first time, at a village in Kallakurichi district

Around 250 members of the Dalit community, entered the 200-year-old Sri Varadharaja Perumal temple at Eduthavainatham village in Kallakurichi district with police protection

Updated - January 02, 2023 06:06 pm IST

Published - January 02, 2023 05:04 pm IST - KALLAKURICHI

The entry of Dalits into the temple on Monday is said to be the first time this has taken place in the history of the Eduthavainatham village in Kallakurichi district

The entry of Dalits into the temple on Monday is said to be the first time this has taken place in the history of the Eduthavainatham village in Kallakurichi district | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

There was celebration in the air at Eduthavainatham village in Kallakurichi district on Monday, after members of the Dalit community entered the Sri Varadharaja Perumal temple in the village for the first time.

Amid police protection, Dalit community members, including women and children from the village, carrying garlands and fruits entered the temple, which is under the administration of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR and CE) Department, and offered worship.

According to P. Ramesh Kumar, a Dalit, “The temple is said to be around 200 years old and Dalits have been barred from entering the temple from the beginning. We had repeatedly requested the caste Hindus from the village to permit us to participate in the processions of the temple. But they refused and even suspended the temple procession in 2008. We are now entering the temple for the first time in our lives and we thank the district administration and the police for accepting our request.”

Official sources said that a ‘diktat’ was in force in the village that barred Dalits from entering the temple. The Dalit community petitioned the district administration seeking an intervention into the issue. Following this, the Kallakurichi Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO) S. Pavithra held a peace meeting with both sides of the village on December 27, and explained to them that no one had the right to prevent anyone from worshipping at the temple.

On Monday, around 250 Dalits entered the temple. This is said to be the first time in the village’s history that Dalits have formally entered the temple. The Dalits marched for nearly 1 km and entered the temple and offered worship. Over 300 police personnel were deployed in the village to prevent any untoward incident.

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