Mumbai: NCP leader and ex-minister Jitendra Awhad will lead a protest at 3pm today at the famous Kalaram temple in Nashik. According to Awhad, the temple priests had insulted Sanyogitaraje Chhatrapati on the occasion of Ram Navami on Thursday.
Awhad said Sanyogitaraje Chhatrapati was a descendant of the Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj family. She wanted to perform pooja at the temple as per Vedic rites but the priests insisted on worship as per Puranic rights. Significantly, Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj had restored Vedic pooja at the temple. Sanyogitaraje later tweeted about her experience at the temple.
Protest on Saturday likely to stir huge controversy in Maharashtra
Awhad said the priests followed Sanatan Dharma which allegedly believed in casteism. “I am a proud Hindu and Hindu dharma gave the concept of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’. However, in the eyes of Sanatan Dharma I am a shudra and a shudra has no rights,” he tweeted.
Kalaram temple figures prominently in the social reforms movement of the state. On March 2, 1930 Babasaheb Ambedkar and his close associate Dadasaheb Gaikwad had led a large number of Dalits to assert their right to enter the temple. This movement stirred the Dalit masses in a big way.
The protest on Saturday is likely to stir a huge controversy in Maharashtra. The protest also has political overtones since Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is a Brahmin belonging to the BJP. Even though Fadnavis formed a short-lived government with Ajit Pawar of the NCP, several leaders of the latter party want to checkmate the Deputy CM at every opportunity. The Nashik temple controversy is the latest in the line.
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