Dalits barred from entering temple in Bara district – Jagaran Media Center

Dalits barred from entering temple in Bara district

Urgent Appeal

Dear Friends,

The Jagaran Media Center (JMC) has received information that 50 Dalit households are barred from entering the local Shiva Temple located at Jhawani, Bara District, despite providing monetary donations and their labor for its construction. The Dalits intend to enter the temple, and there is hence fear of escalating violence. The provincial government, human rights organizations and media must support the local Dalit community and prevent possible violence.

CASE NARRATIVE:

The Jagaran Media Center (JMC) has received information that Dalits are barred from visiting the Shiva Temple located at Jhawani, Simraungadh Municipality-7 of Bara District for the last 40 years since the temple was built. Dalits are being barred from offering obeisance in the temple at the time of auspicious occasions and weddings. They are not even allowed to offer Jal (pure water) to the temple, and are also not allowed to even touch the walls of the temples.

Dalits have been raising voice against this discrimination for the last five years. The members of the so-called higher caste are not allowing ‘untouchables’ (Dalits) to enter the temple. The Dalit community made equal contribution in the construction of the temple by donating their labor and money. Fifty Dalit households, Dusadh and Chamar families, donated 100-500 NPR, as per their economic status, for the construction of the temple, and they donated their one to three days of labor.

Non-Dalits often threaten to abduct Dalit members or even kill them if they enter the temple. In addition, non-Dalits are even ready to abandon the temple and establish a new one for themselves if Dalits enter.

Dalits provided all kinds of help to build the temple, and now wonder how the temple built with their contribution could become impure if they enter it.

Dalits are living under threat as they plan to enter the temple in the near future. The Mayor, Vijay Kumar Yadav, has been discussing with Dalits and going to discuss it with non-Dalits to resolve the issue. The Mayor plans to enter the temple on the occasion of Shiva Puja (worship) after 10 months along with Dalits, and promised that the temple will be open for Dalits after that.

There is no doubt that Dalits of Jhawani Bara District want to enter the Shiva Temple. If it happens without enough planning, there will be escalation of violence. It must be tackled with enough community discussion, and Dalits must be allowed to enter the temple without any hindrance.

SUGGESTED ACTION:
Please write letters to the following authorities, calling on them to take the necessary action to prevent violence as Dalits enter the temple.