Saturday, August 18, 2007

Dalit trust to run Bihar temple

300-year-old Khaki Baba Ram Janki Thakurbari at Hilsa will now be managed by an all-Dalit trust.

Bihar State Board of Religious Trusts administrator Kishore Kunal said it would be the country’s first all-Dalit trust for a temple. Kunal, who has launched a campaign to appoint Dalit priests in important temples with the consent of the worshippers and Hindu society, said the suggestion for an all-Dalit trust, coming from the mandir mahant and the locals, was proof that people have started rejecting untouchability.

The trust has been constituted with a local school teacher belonging to Paswan caste as head and has members from castes like Ravidas, Chamar and Rajak among others.

Kunal, who is busy giving final touches to the second volume of his 1500-page work 'Dalit Devo Bhava', said Dalit priests are already leading prayers in around six temples.

He blamed dharma gurus for keeping "Shudras" away from temples for years while the scriptures preached otherwise.

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