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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

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

ALSO READ:

  • 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 🙁

SHARE
  • 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 🙁

Next Story

Are There Enough Jobs In Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Led India?

“More young people are entering the labor force, millions want to leave agriculture but can’t find construction work because construction activity has slowed down because the investment rate in the economy has slowed down.”

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Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party dismisses concerns about the job data saying it does not capture the real picture because it focuses only on the 15 percent of Indians who work in the formal economy. Pixabay

For people streaming in from rural areas around New Delhi, the first stop is a collection of busy city intersections where contractors select daily wage labor from the crowds of young and old waiting every morning to get work.

Many standing at these intersections say they get work for barely half the month. “I have the ability to work hard. I never turn down any work. But I would prefer to get a cleaner, permanent job,” says 29-year-old Tek Chand. “The problem is one day I have money to buy rations, the next day I don’t.” Like millions of others, he migrated from his village three years ago to seek work and a better life in the city.

FILE - Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, center, arrives with his cabinet colleagues on the opening day of the budget session of the Indian Parliament, in New Delhi, Jan. 31, 2019.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, center, arrives with his cabinet colleagues on the opening day of the budget session of the Indian Parliament, in New Delhi, Jan. 31, 2019. VOA
As India prepares for general elections on April 11, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is being attacked by opposition parties for failing to make good on a promise he made in 2014 to create millions of jobs for India’s huge young population. Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party rebuts that criticism and says India is generating new opportunities as it becomes one of the world’s fastest growing major economies.

Job creation is a massive challenge for a nation with one of the world’s youngest populations — half the country’s 1.3 billion people are under the age of 25.

Recent data shows that joblessness has soared to record high levels. Opposition parties have made joblessness one of their principal election planks and have accused the prime minister of failing the estimated 8 to 10 million young people who enter the workforce every year.

The independent Mumbai-based Center for Monitoring Indian Economy estimates that unemployment reached 7.2 percent last month and that 11 million jobs were lost in 2018. With a working population of 500 million, that translates into more than 30 million people waiting for jobs. An unpublished official survey that showed unemployment at a 45-year-high has also been widely quoted by Indian media.

India's main opposition Congress party President Rahul Gandhi speaks during a public meeting at Adalaj in Gandhinagar, India, March 12, 2019.
India’s main opposition Congress party President Rahul Gandhi speaks during a public meeting at Adalaj in Gandhinagar, India, March 12, 2019. VOA

On the campaign trail, the head of the main opposition Congress Party, Rahul Gandhi, who is seen as Modi’s principal challenger, talks repeatedly about a “jobs crisis.”

“Our government is refusing to accept that we have a massive crisis and potential disaster in front of us,” Gandhi told a group of university students in New Delhi recently, many who will be first time voters.

Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party dismisses concerns about the job data saying it does not capture the real picture because it focuses only on the 15 percent of Indians who work in the formal economy. It points to a recent industry report that jobs have been created in the medium and small sectors.

The BJP says millions of people have found work in the transport and infrastructure sectors or as delivery boys in booming online businesses as India becomes one of the world’s fastest growing major economies. They point out that the issue is not jobs but livelihoods, and point to millions of people who are not counted in job data.

They are self-employed people like cab owner Chain Pal Singh. As the app based taxi business boomed, Singh’s friend, who operated a cab, persuaded him to quit his job and take out a loan to buy a car. His decision has paid off — in four years he has earned enough money to invest in two more cabs.

Singh says he is much better off than when he held a job. “I used to earn about $225 dollars a month. Now in some months I can earn almost double that amount. Its beneficial for me.”

Following defeats in key state elections in December, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told parliament last month, “This truth has to be acknowledged. The unorganized sector has 80 to 85 percent of the employment.” He pointed to millions of commercial vehicles sold in recent years and questioned if they had not generated jobs for drivers.

Economists admit India’s large informal sector has made it difficult to calculate employment, but they say joblessness or underemployment remains the country’s biggest challenge. While scarcity of jobs is not a new problem, two disruptive economic steps in the last two years exacerbated the problem.

In 2016 a sweeping currency ban meant to tackle the problem of illegal cash, dried up jobs as it created huge currency shortages, particularly in small businesses and in the countryside. A poorly-implemented tax reform known as the Goods and Services Tax a few months later was another blow to businesses.

Meanwhile, Modi’s “Made in India” campaign, which aimed at making India a manufacturing hub like China, has made a slow start and sluggish labor-intensive sectors cannot cater to growing numbers of job seekers.

“We can’t keep patting ourselves on the back that we are the fastest growing economy specially if all these other indicators are not growing at a rate that will absorb the growing labor force,” says Santosh Mehrotra, a human development economist at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi.

“More young people are entering the labor force, millions want to leave agriculture but can’t find construction work because construction activity has slowed down because the investment rate in the economy has slowed down.”

Also Read: The Mental Health ‘Epidemic’: About Six in Ten Teen Say, They Feel A Lot Of Pressure To Get Good Grades

He points out that exports, another sector that created a number of jobs has also not been performing well.

As the campaign heats up, the opposition will try to keep the spotlight on jobs, or lack of them, even as the BJP tries to focus on national security following a recent confrontation with Pakistan. The final verdict on whether to give Prime Minister Modi a second term in office will be delivered by millions of voters when they cast their ballots. (VOA)