Stories of socially marginalised people not being allowed into places of worship are common in India. In such a scenario, a Dalit family presiding over an Uttar Pradesh temple for ages is nothing short of exemplary.
It’s only Dalits who have been priests of the Kali Mata temple, dedicated to goddess Durga, in Lakhna town in Etawah, some 300 km from Lucknow, ever since the shrine came up around 200 years ago.
“Caste divisions and discrimination may not have given Dalits a place of respectability in society, but here as priests they are revered,” Ram Dular Rajbhar, who owns a grocery store in the town, told IANS on phone.
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