Tahsildar told to include Adi Dravidars in temple ritual

The petitioner stated that 80 Adi Dravidar families in the village were being excluded from the ritual.
Image of a gavel used for representational purposes only
Image of a gavel used for representational purposes onlyPexels

MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of the Madras HC has directed the Pudukkottai tahsildar to ensure the inclusion of the Adi Dravidar community of Melamangalam North in the mandagapadi ritual during a temple festival.

Justice GR Swaminathan was hearing a petition filed by Meyappan, seeking to direct the authorities to permit the Adi Dravidar community to take part in any one of the eight mandagapadi events during the Kamatchi Amman temple festival at Aranthangi in Pudukottai, scheduled to be held from July 21. The petitioner stated that 80 Adi Dravidar families in the village were being excluded from the ritual.

Observing that banning the event would infringe on the fundamental right of devotees, the court stated, “A social problem must be handled sensitively. Four communities, including Thevar, are involved in the matter, and the Thevar community has five days reserved for itself. I want religious leaders and social workers to meet the local Thevar leaders and convince them. If by appealing to heart and conscience, attitude changes are brought about, that would be abiding and long lasting.”

It directed the tahsildar concerned to convene a peace meeting. “Any mandagapaditharar belonging to the Thevar community can relinquish their right in favour of the Adi Dravidar community. Or, one mandagapadi can be declared as the village mandagapadi, meant for all communities including the Adi Dravidars. All options may be explored. But the result has to be that the Adi Dravidar community is associated as a mandagapaditharar on any one day of the 10-day festival,” the court said.

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