Tuesday, February 7, 2012

[ZESTCaste] Chamrajnagar Dalits threaten to embrace Buddhism



Karnataka | Posted on Feb 07, 2012 at 12:01pm IST
Chamrajnagar Dalits threaten to embrace Buddhism
indianexpress Express News Service , The New Indian Express

MYSORE: Around 60 Dalit families who have been denied entry into a
temple during the local Dodda Ankada Maramma jathra in Kalana Hundi of
Chamrajnagar taluk have threatened to embrace Buddhism in protest
against discrimination. Due to continued discrimination, the jathra,
which is celebrated by taking out a procession of local deities, was
stopped in 1999.

However, the upper castes have decided to celebrate the festival.
Dalits, who protested against their ban in hotels and temples, also
objected to temple rituals where offerings by Dalits were sprinkled
with water before being placed before the deity. They approached the
district administration alleging untouchability and urged the
authorities to stop the festival to end this discrimination.

Mahesh, a Dalit youth, said the Dalit Colony has not been getting
sufficient water since the day they lodged a police compliant. The
district administration has sought a report from the police.

"The police assured us that they would look into our grouse. But how
can we trust them when they have failed to act on our complaints for
so long?" he asked. They even blamed the local leaders of spreading
hatred by encouraging their own community to celebrate the festival
and keeping away Dalits.

"Why practise a tradition that has no respect for Dalits or does not
believe in equality?" asked Narashimamurthy, a folk artiste.
Meanwhile, villagers opposed any move to seize the chariot and other�
temple accessories that belonged to the village.

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