A video posted on Twitter on April 30, showing a Dalit woman being refused entry to a temple 25-km from Puducherry, has gone viral. A group of people can be seen asking the woman to leave the Sri Kamatchi Sameta Boodanadheeswarar temple near Puducherry, even as she argued that she would leave only after paying her respects to the deity. As the argument turned heated, people can be seen trying to forcefully move the woman out of the temple, saying, “You are not allowed to come here. We don’t come to your temple and you should not come to ours. Please leave.”
“There is no ‘your god’ or ‘my god’,” the woman can be heard saying. “All gods are the same. I will pray and leave, let me just pray.” However, the gathered men and women continued to argue furiously with her and told her it was “not her temple to pray in”.
According to The Hindu, the incident took place during a 20-day festival that takes place at the Sri Draupadiamman Alayam and Sri Kamatchi Sameta Boodanadheeswarar Temple. The woman, identified by The Hindu as Radha from Kunichampet Dalit colony, told the newspaper, “This year, I wanted to see the marriage of goddess Draupadi conducted on the 15th day of the festival, which fell this Sunday. I entered the temple and waited for the ritual to begin when a person from the temple asked me to leave stating that I was from a lower caste. They asked me to go and pray in my temple and questioned why I was coming here when I have a temple in the colony. I said that I have come to pray and will leave only after praying to god. But the men in the temple shouted at me and asked a woman to take me outside. She tried to pull me outside. I could only give the camphor and money to the priest and leave.”