Caste dispute halts temple construction
TEK NARAYAN BHATTARAI
PALPA, Dec 31: Construction of a temple being built by Mothers´ Group
has been stopped midway after dalit members of the group demanded
entry to the temple.
Dalit members of the Rajeshwari Mothers´ Group have complained
construction of a Rs 200,000 Shiva temple has been stopped by the
majority women of the ´upper class´. The money was raised by the group
through different programs with active participation of dalit members.
"When dalit members during a meeting of the group proposed that
everyone should be allowed inside the temple, they objected and said
they would rather not construct the temple at all," Kopila Nepali, a
dalit member of the group, said. Nepali said there was a heated
discussion on the topic.
"We all collected Rs 200,000 with much difficulty and collectively
decided to construct the temple. But they said we wouldn´t be allowed
entry?" rued Nepali. "What kind of justice is this in new Nepal?" she
Another dalit member, Sunita Sunar, expressed dejection at being
denied entry to a temple being constructed with her involvement
despite abolition of caste system by the law. "Who will not feel hurt
by such injustice?" Sunar bemoaned.
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