Opinion » Letters
November 12, 2011
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
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.
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