Kolar: Kadenahalli in Mulbagal taluk, a remote village 50 km from district headquarter Kolar, on Sunday became witness to a Dalits’ temple entry campaign.
Organised by the Dalitara Grihapravesha Rajya Samiti under the slogan ‘Our march toward untouchability-free India’, a large number of people from scheduled caste, including women, entered Sri Chowdeshwari temple under Muzrai and Religious Endowment Department in the presence of a number of officials including Deputy Commissioner, K.V. Trilokchandra.
Retired principal secretary, P.N. Srinivasachary and former judge of Karnataka High Court, H.N. Nagamohandas are the dignitaries among others who witnessed the event.
75-year-old Narayanamma, who was among the people who entered the village temple for the first time in her life, expressed happiness about the development.
“Earlier we were not being invited into the temple. Now with Deputy Commissioner issuing the order (following efforts of the committee) we are able to get the darshan of the diety”, Ms. Narayanamma told The Hindu.
“We now had the feeling that all of us are equal”, she said.
Vinoda and Somashekhar, who are in their twenties, shared similar sentiments.
Ms. Narayanamma, a bhajana and kolata artist, however, said that the temple-entry alone cannot solve the problem. “We are eking out a meagre livelihood by singing bhajans and performing kolata. The government should come to provide more facilities to poor artists like us”, she said.
Change of heart necessary
Delivering a special lecture on the occasion, justice Das regretted that despite making great achievements in the field of science and development, the curse of untouchability still persists. Laws alone cannot eradicate social evils such as untouchability and casteism.
Change of heart among people is needed to bring social transformation, he said. Education and scientific temperament are the two ingredients necessary to materialise the dreams of great thinkers like Buddha and Basava as well as the ideals of freedom movement of the country, he added.
Committee founder, G. Shivappa, District Social Welfare Officer Shivakumar, Mulbagal tahsildar Gangappa, CPI(M) district unit secretary Gandhinagar Narayanaswamy, DSS leader T. Vijaykumar participated among others.