In a historic event against caste oppression in Kerala, a group of Dalit men entered a temple in Enmakaje panchayat in Kasaragod district on Sunday, November 14. The group stepped into the Jadadhari Boothasthanam temple, which until now, had kept its doors firmly closed against oppressed castes. Five of the men are part of the Pattikajathi Kshemasamithi (Scheduled Caste Welfare Council) in the panchayat, while the sixth man, Advocate Chandramohan, is a Local Committee Secretary of the CPI(M) in Enmakaje. However, the men were not able to pray at the sanctum sanctorum as it has been closed since 2018. They entered the temple at 3 pm on Sunday, breaking a centuries-old rule that had banned Dalits from worshipping at the temple. In 2018, another Dalit man, Krishna Mohana, entered the temple and prayed at the sanctum sanctorum, resulting in the closure of the sanctum sanctorum to all by the families that run it. On Sunday, Pattika Jathi Kshema Samithi Kasaragod District Secretary BM Pradeep, President MK Panicker, Joint Secretary Chandran Kokkal, Kumbala Area Secretary Sadananda, and Mahesh, local secretary of the Students Federation of India, the student’s wing of the CPI(M), entered the temple.
The men, however, couldn’t pray as the sanctum sanctorum was closed after Krishna Mohana entered in 2018. “The temple is run by five Brahmin families. It never opened its doors to people of oppressed castes. It was the same in the past as our ancestors have said,” BM Pradeep told TNM.
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