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After Yogi remark, Dalits in Agra want Hanuman temple managements to be given to them

After chief minister Yogi Adityanath called Lord Hanuman a Dalit during an election rally in Rajasthan’s Alwar last week, Dalits in Agra have demanded that management of all Hanuman temples across the country be handed over to them.

lucknow Updated: Nov 30, 2018 22:43 IST
Dalit,Hanuman,Yogi Adityanath
During a poll rally at Malakheda in Alwar district, Yogi Adityanath had said Hanuman was a forest dweller, deprived and a Dalit.(PTI)

After chief minister Yogi Adityanath called Lord Hanuman a Dalit during an election rally in Rajasthan’s Alwar last week, Dalits in Agra have demanded that management of all Hanuman temples across the country be handed over to them.

At least 30 Dalits, wearing ‘janeu’ (sacred thread), reciting ‘Hanuman chalisa’ (a devotional hymn) and shouting slogans like ‘Dalit devta Hanuman ki jai’ (long live Dalit god Hanuman), reached the Hanuman temple at Langre ki Chowki on Delhi-Kanpur Highway on Thursday.

“We were not aware that Lord Hanuman was from our community. It was the chief minister who communicated this to us during his speech last week. Now, all Hanuman temples should be handed over to us. We didn’t know that the gods we prayed to are associated with any caste. If our CM is of firm belief, the society should come forward and hand over these temples to Dalits,” said Congress leader Amit Singh who led Dalits and offered prayers at the temple.

On Thursday, Nand Kumar Sai, chairperson, National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, claimed: “In Kurukh, language spoken by people ‘tigga’ (a gotra) means monkey. In the Kanwar tribe, which I belong to, there’s a clan called ‘Hanuman’... Therefore, I believe they belonged to the tribals and accompanied Lord Ram in the big war,” Sai said.

Meanwhile, Congress’s Rajasthan unit has lodged a complaint against Yogi with the EC.

Also, within BJP, UP MLA Surendra Singh said, “God is above caste. There are Gods of all castes... relating them with a particular caste in not appropriate.”

First Published: Nov 30, 2018 22:40 IST