Alleging that they were denied entry into temples, around 250 Dalit families in Vedaranyam and Karur on Monday threatened to convert to Islam.
While around 200 Dalit families of Pazhangallimedu in Kallimedu near Vedaranyam, claim they are being denied the right to conduct the temple festival, more than 35 Dalit families in Nagampalli near Malaikovilur in Karur allege that they have been barred from entering the Mahasakhthi Amman temple in their locality, which they claim was built using their contributions.
In Pazhangallimedu, the bone of contention is the conduct of the annual Aadi festival of the HR&CE-run Bhadrakali Amman temple for which Caste-Hindus reportedly enjoy Mandagapadi rights. The Dalits claim that the temple was originally built in their locality and shifted to the current spot after floods several years ago.
“Though we don’t have evidence to prove the earlier existence of the temple, we were told by our ancestors that the temple was in our area. Now, we want the Mandagapadi rights during one of the five days of the festival,” N Senthil, a functionary of a pro-Dalit political party, demanded.
Further, the Dalits claim that members of Tamil Nadu Thowheed Jamath had met them as news spread about their decision to embrace Islam. Some right wing organisations too have reportedly contacted them and assured that they would find an amicable solution.
(The New Indian Express)