Hassan: A temple is a place which ought to be open to people irrespective of their caste and creed. But The Hindu reported that a temple in Hassan – Kalleshwara temple – in Kadaga village is not open to Dalits of the village. 

On Monday (August 26), tension prevailed in the village as people of upper castes opposed entry to the members of the Scheduled Caste into the temple. The temple was recently renovated and comes under the Muzrai Department. 

In order to thwart any untoward incident, the district administration has deployed cops. 

The newspaper further reported that the temple was in a dilapidated state and the villagers decided to renovate the structure by collecting funds from people cutting across castes. The installation of the idols was scheduled for Monday. 

The newspaper quoted Chethan, a resident of the village, as saying, “We have every right to enter the temple. Our people have also contributed money for the temple’s renovation.”

When the news reached the DySP Ramakrishna Gowda and tahsildar G Meghana, and taluk social welfare officer HN Sathish, they visited the village and spoke to the parties concerned. 

The officials prevailed upon the villagers that untouchability was against the law of land and those who practise it would be punished, as per the law. 


The Hindu quoted officials saying that the people were informed about the law and an appeal was made to them to maintain harmony. “After our appeal, both the parties agreed that except the priests, nobody would enter the temple.”

But the story is far from over. Dalit activists are of the opinion that self-imposed restriction was nothing but a plan to keep Dalits at bay. 
The newspaper quoted Nagaraj Hettur, a Dalit activist, as saying, “The people opposed to entry of Dalits find this an easy way out.” 

When MyNation spoke to a prominent Dalit activist, who wished to remain anonymous, he said, “Such things have been happening around for a long time. There’s nothing much you can do. So I don’t want to talk about it.”

However, when MyNation spoke to Ram Nivas, the district SP, he said, “The DC and I went there. We spoke to the Dalits there. They said everyone was being allowed entry into the temple but not to the sanctum sanctorum.”