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Priest Carries Dalit Man into Temple on Shoulders in Hyderabad, 'Re-enacts' 2,700-Year-old Ritual

CS Rangarajan, a priest in Hyderabad's Chilkur Balaji temple, carried Aditya Parasri into the sanctum sanctorum of the Sri Ranganatha temple and also hugged him.

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Updated:April 18, 2018, 7:09 PM IST
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Priest Carries Dalit Man into Temple on Shoulders in Hyderabad, 'Re-enacts' 2,700-Year-old Ritual
Aditya Parasri, a Dalit, being carried by priest CS Rangarajan on his shoulders into the temple. (AFP)
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New Delhi: A Dalit man was carried by the priest of a temple in Hyderabad into its sanctum sanctorum, a ‘re-enactment’ of a 2,700-year-old ritual on Monday.

CS Rangarajan, a priest in Hyderabad's Chilkur Balaji temple, carried Aditya Parasri into the sanctum sanctorum of the Sri Ranganatha temple and also hugged him.

This comes in the backdrop of increasing cases of violence and discrimination against Dalits.

According to Telangana Today, people from different areas gathered at the temple well in advance to witness the one-of-its-kind act. As the clock ticked 4.30 pm, the 52-year-old priest carried Parasri on his shoulders from outside the temple till the Dwajasthambam (flagpole).

“This is the re-enactment of a 2,700-year old incident. It is being done to re-establish the greatness of Sanatana Dharma and to propagate equality among all sections of the society,” Rangarajan told Telangana Today, adding that many vested interests are trying to disturb the peace and harmony in the country.

“This act is enacted as a means to stop the oppression of Dalits and promote universal brotherhood among different sections,” he added.

A brahmachari and a devotee of Goddess Devi, Parasri said that he was honoured to receive such a warm welcome. He added that it could be the beginning of breaking the barriers of social evils dividing the country.

“Being a dalit, my family was oppressed and was humiliated when I was denied entry into Lord Hanuman temple in my native Mahbubnagar. This practice is still existent in several temples. It is very said that although our Constitution provides for the protection of the downtrodden sections, we are still being looked down upon,” he told the Deccan Chronicle.

When asked what promted him to do this, , Rangarajan said, “In January, I was part of a round-table conference (in Osmania University), which discussed how backward caste communities are denied entry into the temple. Since ‘Sanathana Dharma’ has treated everybody equally before the god, I came forward to reinstate it by doing the Muni Vahanai Seva.”

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| Edited by: Ashish Yechury
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