In Vizianagaram district there is a remote village named Jakkuva in Mentada Mandal. On 3rd May 2014, Scheduled castes ( known as Dalits ) were not allowed into a recently renovated Sri Ram Mandir. On this incident, ‘Saamajika Samarasata Vedika’ (SSV) formed a committee to investigate the truth. The committee visited the village on 29th May 2014 and a detailed report of the investigation was submitted to the representatives of the Government. Vedika also performed a Dharna in front of the District Collectors Office on 23rd June 2014 against the Government delayed action and demanded justice to Dalit victims. During the course of last two years, the Vedika supported the SC’s for the cause and ensured Dalits get the just benefits from the Government. The north Andhra districts Samarasata Sammelan, with the help of the villagers and the local TDP, BJP and YSRC party leaders, have ensured the entry of the Dalits into the Ram Temple.
They also unveiled grand Statues of the stalwarts that supported the ‘Social Equality’ cause – Gautama Buddha, Swami Vivekananda, Mahatma Jyoti Bapule and Dr. Baba Saheb Ambedkar followed by a public meeting.
This program was envisioned by the Vedika of Vizianagaram district, based on the noble preaching of Sri Kavyakantha Vaasistha Ganapati Muni, a renowned exponent of ‘Social Equality’, whom Sri Ramana Maharshi believed as incarnation of Ganapati and called as Nayana (Father).
Under the leadership of Pujya Sri Srinivasananda Swamiji (Head of Noth Andhra Saadhu Parishad, Anananda Asramam, Srikakulam District), the people belonging to SC community of Jakkuva aloing with other villagers entered Sri Ram Mandir, chanting “Jai Sri Ram” slogans in ecstasy as they queued up for the divine Darshan. Later, the statues of the Leaders who lived for ‘Social Equality’ cause, Gautama Buddha, Sri Mahatma Jyotibapule and Dr. Ambedkar were unveiled by Sri K. Shyam Prasad (Samarasata Vedika, Kshetra Convener), Pujya Sri Srinivasananda Swami, Sri Dusi Rama Krishna (R.S.S. Kshetra Karyavaha) and Sri Somu Veerraju (M.L.C). Due to ministerial meetings for the ongoing Krishna Pushkarams, Sri Pydikondala Maanikyala Rao (State Minister for Endowments) and Dr. Smt. Kimidi Mrunalini (State Minister for Rural Development, Housing & Sanitation) could not attend the function.
Sri Dulam Busi Raju (State President of SC/ST rights & welfare society) has presided over the program. Pujya Sri Srinivasananda Swami, Sri K. Shyam Prasad, Sri Somu Veeraragju and Sri Dusi Ramakrishna have addressed the gathering. The program also honoured Sri Subbarao and Jagan Mohan Reddy who funded the Statues and Sri Narendra Udayaar for having sculpted the Statues. The program was attended by over 75 people from various castes across eight villages around Jakkuva village. At the end of the program, along with Swamiji, all the leaders present there, went to have meals in the homes of families in the SC Colony. After the program, a meeting was organized for the office bearers of North Andhra, namely Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Visakha districts.
A brief of the lectures from the program
“Our Hindu Dharma is the oldest and also scientific. In our Dharma there is no high/low within the Varna or Kula (caste). There is no ‘Untouchability’. Along the medieval period, few of the selfish and powerful groups have created these differences and propagated untouchability in the name of caste. These were bad practises and are against the tenets of Hindu Dharma. These practices have to be eschewed and as a family we need to live together in unity. Only if we adapt to this way of life, Hindu Dharma and Bharat will be saved. We have stopped many such bad practices that came into our culture over the times. In the past there were Child Marriages; there used to be a ban on cruising over oceans; girl child was not allowed or encouraged for higher studies, etc. But no one practices Child Marriages now. Girls are being educated equally with boys in all the castes. For higher studies and jobs people are going to foreign lands. Women are now reaching the pinnacle in various fields of education and careers. In the recent Olympics, women have brought medals to our country and waves of tri-colour of Bharat was seen all over the Olympic stadium.
In ancient times we have not seen differences in the name of Varna or Kula. These have come into practice over the time. Swami Vivekananda said very clearly – Differences in the name of caste and untouchability should not be practiced; “Right to Gyana (wisdom), Right to take up any field for economic betterment, Equal opportunities for all, Respect to all – these are the attributes that Hindu Dharma desires in our society”. The same is the message from Gautama Buddha, Mahatma Jyoti Bapule and Dr. Ambedkar, said Sri Kavyakantha Vaasistha Ganapati Muni. Our duty is to follow this message in our daily life. In Varanasi and Srisailam, any person of any caste can perform Abhishekam to Lord Siva. In Tirupati, Annavaram, Simhachalam… and many more main temples, there is entry for every caste including scheduled castes. In spite of this, our village and few of the nearby villages have restrictions on entry into the temples. This is not Hindu Dharma. This is bad practice. We need to learn from our past and respect every caste and allow entry of all castes into all temples. In 1927, Dr. Ambedkar has performed a Satyagraha for entry into Nasik Kalaram Temple. The priest at that time did not allow SC’s into the temple. In 1992, in the same temple premises, when ‘Samarasata Yatra’ was conducted, that same priest’s grandson Sudhir Maharaj participated and said “In those days my grandfather has restricted entry of SC’s. From this stage today, I seek pardon from all of you for his mistake”.
Saamajika Samarasata Vedika is working across Bharat for ‘Social Equality’. This is the fitting time to build ‘Social Equality’ and we all need to meticulously work together for ‘Social Equality’; this is the meaning of our ‘life’.
Vote of thanks was pronounced by Sri Srinivas, Vedika District Secretary.
Sri Hatakesh, Samarasata Vedika, North Andhra Districts Convenor