Monday, December 13, 2010

[ZESTCaste] Mayawati flays 'anti-Dalit' temple ritual in Karnataka

Mayawati flays 'anti-Dalit' temple ritual in Karnataka

Lucknow, Dec 12 : Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president and Uttar
Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati has slammed an age-old temple ritual
in Karnataka where people, the majority of them Dalits, roll over
plantain leaves with leftovers of meals eaten by Brahmins, believing
this will cure them of skin ailments.

Called the 'urulu seve' (roll over ritual), the tradition at the Kukke
Subramanya temple in the coastal district of Dakshina Kannada is said
to have been followed for 400 years, according to the temple

The ritual is undertaken in the belief that it will cure people of
skin ailments.

Though people from all castes, including Brahmins, perform the ritual,
a majority of them are said to be Dalits and those from backward

In a statement issued here Saturday, Mayawati labelled the practice as
being "grossly casteist" and "against the letter and spirit of the
Indian Constitution."

"This custom of making poor Dalits roll over used leaf plates was not
only "anti-Dalit" but also deserves to be abhorred.

"It was quite apparent that the objective behind the practice was only
to humiliate the socially downtrodden, therefore it was high time the
Karnataka government rose to the occasion to bring an end to this
social evil," the statement said.

The chief minister also shot off a letter to her Karnataka counterpart
urging him to ban the practice.


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