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Hindus and Dalits Likely to organise Annual Festival in Sri Badrakaliamman Temple at Chennai

The Collector in Nagapattinam, S. Palanisamy, has fastened the ban on Mandagapadi, a week-long annual festival of the temple that was about to start on August 8, 2016

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Badrakaliamman Temple. Image source: subaonline.net
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August 7, 2016: A major step has been taken for the upliftment of the Dalit community in Chennai and this year, in 2016, Hindus from Nagapattinam’s Kallimedu village have considered the demand of Dalits from Pazhag Kallimedu to host ‘mandagapadi’ at Sri Badrakaliamman Temple, Chennai, but there is a dispute regarding the date.

The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment (HR&CE) had proposed four proposals to the caste Hindus, which stated that the customs of the 800-year-old temple could not be altered or changed, which the caste Hindus rejected.

The Collector in Nagapattinam, S. Palanisamy, has fastened the ban on Mandagapadi, a week-long annual festival of the temple that was about to start on Monday, August 8, 2016; as earlier three parties failed to break the deadlock over the right claimed by Dalits of Pazhag Kallimedu to host mandagapadi for a day, mentioned The Hindu reports.

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After various failed attempts on a compromise between the two communities, the festival has been banned. Image source: The Hindu
After various failed attempts at the compromise between the two communities, the festival has been banned. Image source: The Hindu

After the festival was banned by S. Palanisamy, both sects of the same Hindu community discussed numerous times regarding the issue, to reach the decision to somehow conduct the festival.

Members from Hindu Makkal Katchi (HMK) have been staying in the village to derive a conclusion. HMK reports, maximum people from both the sects wanted the festival to be held. The State president Tamilisai Soundararajan from BJP had also visited the village and met representatives from both the communities on August 1 to appeal them to come to an agreement with each other and organise the festivities peacefully, and in brotherhood.

A member of the Hindu group, A. Sivasubramanian, told The Hindu that some people from the group have agreed to make Dalits a part of the festivities so that the festival can be held as per the decided schedule. The Hindu caste group did not wish to be called anti-Dalit. He believes that a peace meeting could have been held before the complete ban on the festival.

Another round of meeting between Hindus and Dalits. Image source: The Hindu
Another round of meeting between Hindus and Dalits.
Image source: The Hindu

A group of people from both Hindus and Dalits is likely to meet the Collector on August 10, in order to negotiate the cancellation of the event.

A representative of the Dalit community, K.Tamilselvam believes that the administration should hold another formal talk to lift the ban on the festival. It is indicated that Hindus are strongly considering to allow Dalits to celebrate Mandagapadi on Saturday, August 13.

– prepared by Chetna Karnani, at NewsGram. Twitter: @karnani_chetna

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  • AJ Krish

    Only when people come together despite their differences in caste, or religion can a festival be a celebration.

  • Pope

    That picture in this article – is it real ??? There is 1 group of people seated on chairs & another group addressing them seated on the floor !!

    This is year 2016 in modern Chennai for crying out aloud! India claims to be the IT capital of the world with the brightest minds discovering the latest technologies of this world, but the mentality of some of its people hasnt changed very much has it ?

    I’d really to be proven wrong & my allegations baseless. Somebody please correct me as looking at the pic really disgusts me 🙁

  • AJ Krish

    Only when people come together despite their differences in caste, or religion can a festival be a celebration.

  • Pope

    That picture in this article – is it real ??? There is 1 group of people seated on chairs & another group addressing them seated on the floor !!

    This is year 2016 in modern Chennai for crying out aloud! India claims to be the IT capital of the world with the brightest minds discovering the latest technologies of this world, but the mentality of some of its people hasnt changed very much has it ?

    I’d really to be proven wrong & my allegations baseless. Somebody please correct me as looking at the pic really disgusts me 🙁

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CJI faces revolt from four senior most SC judges

The four judges -- Justices Ranjan Gogoi, Kurian Joseph and Madan B. Lokur besides Justice Chelameswar -- released a letter they wrote to Justice Misra a couple of months ago

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Supreme court went into a frenzy as four senior judges revolt against CJI. Wikimedia Common
Supreme court went into a frenzy as four senior judges revolt against CJI. Wikimedia Common
  • The sudden revolt against Chief Justice of India (CJI) by the four senior-most judges of Supreme Court has sent the whole judicial system into an uproar.
  • The four judges accused the CJI of corruption and breaches in a surprise Press Conference.
  • Judge Loya’s death’s controversy, supposedly, sparked this reaction out of the other judges.

Divisions in the Supreme Court burst out in the open on Friday when four senior-most judges took an unprecedented step of addressing the media to accuse Chief Justice Dipak Misra of breaching rules in assigning cases to appropriate benches, with one of them pointing to the plea regarding the mysterious death of Special CBI judge B. H. Loya.

The hurried press conference was called to reveal CJI's corruption. Pixabay
The hurried press conference was called to reveal CJI’s corruption. Pixabay

At a hurriedly called press conference at his residence, Justice J. Chelameswar and three other colleagues said the Supreme Court administration was “not in order” and their efforts to persuade Justice Misra even this morning “with a specific request” failed, forcing them to “communicate with the nation” directly.

The four judges — Justices Ranjan Gogoi, Kurian Joseph and Madan B. Lokur besides Justice Chelameswar — released a letter they wrote to Justice Misra a couple of months ago, conceding that he was the master of roster but that was “not a recognition of any superior authority, legal or factual of the Chief Justice over his colleagues”.

Asked specifically if they were upset over reference of the matter seeking a probe into the suspicious death of Judge Loya, Justice Gogoi said: “Yes.”

Judge Loya's death is said to have happened due to a conspiracy. Pixabay
Judge Loya’s death is said to have happened due to a conspiracy. Pixabay

Judge Loya, who was hearing a case relating to the killing of gangster Sohrabuddin Sheikh in an alleged fake shootout in which BJP chief Amit Shah was named an accused (later discharged), died of cardiac arrest in 2014. His family has raised doubts over the circumstances in which Judge Loya died and have sought an independent probe into it.

Plea’s seeking probe came up for a hearing in the Supreme Court on Friday when the top court expressed concerns over it and said it was a “serious issue”. It asked the Maharashtra government to produce all the documents related to the case before January 15.

In a seven-page letter, the four judges said they were not mentioning details of the cases only to avoid embarrassing the institution because “such departures have already damaged the images of this institution to some extent”.

The clash among the judges in the highest court also comes in the wake of a controversial order in November in which Justice Misra declared that the Chief Justice “is the master of the roster” having exclusive power to decide which case will go to which judge.

The CJI called himself 'master of roster' further enraging other judges. Pixabay
The CJI called himself ‘master of the roster’ further enraging other judges. Pixabay

The CJI had given the order a day after a two-judge bench headed by Justice Chelameswar had passed an order that a five-judge bench of senior most judges in the apex court should be set up to consider an independent probe into a corruption case in which bribes were allegedly taken in the name of settling cases pending before Supreme Court judges.

Holding that the Chief Justice was only the first among equals, the four judges contended that there were well-settled and time-honoured conventions guiding the Chief Justice in dealing with the strength of the bench required or the composition thereof.

“A necessary corollary to the above-mentioned principle is the members of any multi-numbered judicial body, including this court, would not arrogate to themselves the authority to deal with and pronounce upon matters which ought to be heard by appropriate benches, both composition-wise and strength-wise with due regard to the roster fixed,” they wrote in the letter.

They said any departure from the two rules would not only lead to “unpleasant and undesirable consequences of creating doubt in the body politic about the integrity of the institution” but would create “chaos”.

The four judges also touched upon another controversial issue, the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) on the appointment of judges over which the Supreme Court had locked horns with the government.

The four judges also touched upon other problematic issues. deliason.files.wordpress.com
The four judges also touched upon other problematic issues. deliason.files.wordpress.com

The government, the letter said, had not responded to the communication and “in view of this silence it must be taken that the MoP has been accepted by the government on the basis of the order of this court”.

Justice Chelameswar told the media that they were “convinced that unless this institution is protected and maintains its requirements, democracy will not survive in the country or any country… The hallmark of a democracy is independent and impartial judges.

“Since all our efforts failed… Even this morning, on a particular issue, we went and met the Chief Justice with a specific request. Unfortunately, we could not convince him that we were right.”

Justice Gogoi said they were “discharging the debt to the nation that has got us here”.

The government appeared to distance itself from the controversy, saying the judges should sort the issue themselves.

Minister of State for Law P. Chaudhary said: “Our judiciary is one of the known, recognised judiciaries in the world. It is an independent judiciary. At this stage, I think no agency is required to intervene or interfere. The Chief Justice and other members should sit together and resolve. There is no question of panic.”

the matter should be resolved among the judges themselves, says P. Chaudhary.

The Supreme Court split had an immediate political fallout, with CPI leader D. Raja saying after meeting Justice Chelameswar that Parliament will have to devise methods to sort out problems like this in the top judiciary.

Two judges, Justice S. A. Bobde and Justice L. Nageshwar Rao, are understood to have called on Justice Chelameswar. IANS