Tuesday, June 28, 2011

[ZESTCaste] NCSC chairman breaks age-old ban, enters temple



NCSC chairman breaks age-old ban, enters temple
PTI | 11:06 PM,Jun 24,2011

Bhubaneswar, Jun 24 (PTI) Breaking the age-old ban on the entry of
dalits into a Hindu temple in Puri district, Chairman of the National
Commission for Schedule Castes P L Punia today entered the premises of
Kali Temple at Ranapada village under Brahmagiri police station.Punia,
along with senior officials of the commission, went to Ranapada
village on the bank of Chilika lake after getting information on the
prevalence of the practice of untouchability in Puri district."I first
informed the gathering that I am a dalit and then entered into the
Kali temple," he said.Though no one opposed Punia's entry, the main
temple was closed before his arrival. "I was shocked to find that the
temple closed before my arrival. Generally, they perform 'aarti' and
other rituals during evening. But they deliberately closed it," Punia
told PTI over phone.Describing it as a "serious" matter, Punia said
the temple authorities had also removed a sign board announcing that
dalits were allowed only to a particular spot from where they could
have 'darshan' of the Goddess.During his interaction with upper caste
people at the village and also the priest of the temple, Punia was
informed that as it was against the tradition, the dalits were not
allowed entry."Our fore-fathers did not allow dalits to step inside
the temple. We will like to obey the tradition," a villager told
Punia.Stating that there was gross discrimination against dalits in
the village, he said he would take up the matter at the national level
as the community had been put to socio-economic boycott by upper caste
people since long. PTI AAM NN

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