Priest in Andhra Pradesh to carry a Dalit man into Vaishnavite temple | andhra pradesh | Hindustan Times
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Priest in Andhra Pradesh to carry a Dalit man into Vaishnavite temple

Vijaya Kumar’s source of inspiration was CS Rangarajan, priest of the Balaji temple at Chilkur on the outskirts of Hyderabad, who on April 16 carried a Dalit on his shoulders into Ranganatha temple at Jiaguda where Parasari offered prayers. 

andhra pradesh Updated: Jun 12, 2018 06:33 IST
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
Hyderabad priest CS Rangarajan carrying Aditya Parasari into the Sri Ranganatha temple at Jiaguda on April 16.
Hyderabad priest CS Rangarajan carrying Aditya Parasari into the Sri Ranganatha temple at Jiaguda on April 16. (HT Photo)

The recent initiative undertaken by a priest in Hyderabad of carrying a local Dalit devotee on his shoulders into a Vaishnavite temple has inspired another priest from Andhra Pradesh’s Kadapa district to re-enact the ceremony in a move to propagate the concept of “equality of all.”

The priest, Kalyanapuram Vijaya Kumar, will carry 70-year-old Kullai Chinna Narsimhulu, on his shoulders into the Mohana Ranganayaka Swamy temple in Guntur town, on June 14, in a procession.

Vijaya Kumar’s source of inspiration was CS Rangarajan, priest of the Balaji temple at Chilkur on the outskirts of Hyderabad. On April 16, Rangarajan carried Aditya Parasri, a Dalit, on his shoulders into Ranganatha temple at Jiaguda where Parasari offered prayers.

The ceremony caught the attention of several spiritual leaders across the country. Buddhist spiritual leader Dalai Lama, who read about it, wrote to Rangarajan, appreciating his gesture.

“Several priests have shown interest in re-enacting the ritual to show that everybody, irrespective of their caste and creed in indu society, are equal before God. So, Vijaya Kumar, too, has come forward to hold a similar ceremony,” Rangarajan said.

Former minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) whip in the Andhra Pradesh legislative council Dokka Manikya Varaprasad Rao, who is also a prominent Dalit leader from Guntur district, offered to conduct Thursday’s ceremony at the Mohana Ranganayaka Swamy temple in the town. “So, I asked Vijaya Kumar to take up the programme in Guntur and I am also attending the same,” Rangarajan said.

Narsimhulu, a labourer from an Scheduled Caste (SC) colony in Gandhipur village of Chittoor district, has been mobilising funds for the construction of a Ram temple in his village, despite facing resistance.