Andhra Pradesh, June 12: In a bid to send out the message of equality and peace, a local priest from Andhra Pradesh’s Kadapa district will be carrying a Dalit man on his shoulders inside the Mohana Ranganayaka Swamy temple in Guntur district. The priest, Kalyanapuram Vijaya Kumar took inspiration from his counterpart in Hyderabad who had carried a Dalit man on his shoulders inside a Vaishnavite Temple earlier. The priest, Vijaya Kumar will carry 70-year-old Kullai Chinna Narsimhulu on June 14 in a major procession to spread the message of ‘equality to one and all’.
Taking cue from Hyderabad priest CS Rangarajan of Balaji Temple who carried a Dalit man Aditya Parasri on his shoulders into Ranganatha temple at Jiaguda on April 16 this year, Vijaya Kumar too decided to do the same in an attempt to give the message loud and clear that people must not be discriminated on the basis of religion, caste and creed. Rangarajan’s stint on preaching equality to all caught the attention of people who lauded the priest’s gesture. Buddhist spiritual leader Dalai Lama too praised Rangarajan after he read about the same.
Rangarajan said,”Several priests have shown interest in re-enacting the ritual to show that everybody, irrespective of their caste and creed in the society, are equal before God.” He added that Vijaya Kumar too came forward to propagate the same faith. Dalit leader and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) minister Dokka Manikya Varaprasad Rao has also offered to conduct the ceremony which is scheduled to take place on June 14. Rao confirmed that he would be attending the event being held in Guntur.
The 70-year-old Dalit man who will be carried to the temple in Guntur is a labourer by profession and belongs to the Scheduled Caste (SC) colony in Gandhipur village of Chittoor district. From quite a long time, he has been trying to collect funds for erecting a Ram Temple.