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Jagannath temple in Gaya has a low caste priest

Jagannath temple in Gaya has a low caste priest

Author: ANI
Publication: Thaindian News
Date: February 14, 2008
URL: http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/india-news/jagannath-temple-in-gaya-has-a-low-caste-priest_10017603.html

Jagannath temple in Bihar took a bold initiative by anointing a low-caste to perform temple rituals, considered a strict prerogative of the Brahmins.

In a path-breaking reconciliatory gesture, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Chief K.S. Sudarshan graced the ceremony kicking off the renovation of the temple under the guidance of the new head priest Deepak Das, a low-caste person.

"We are all children of god. Nobody is a low-caste (dalit). That is the reason why the word dalit is not mentioned in our Constitution," said Sudarshan.

Buddhist monks from the Mahabodhi temple, who attended the ceremony, said the move would go a long way in the betterment of the Hindu society.

"It is done as an experiment. I think if it is continued, it will lead to the betterment of the society," said Pragyadeep, General Secretary of the All-India Monks Union.

At present, non-Brahmin priests perform rituals in just a few temples of certain sects.

In 2002, the Supreme Court had ruled that members of the so-called dalit could also be appointed as priests in temples as long as they were qualified to conduct the rituals. (ANI)

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