'made snana' ritual: SC bans people of lower caste from rolling over leftovers of Brahmins
news Thursday, September 25, 2014 - 05:30
The News Minute | September 25, 2014 | 09:22 am IST The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a High Court order banning lower caste people from rolling over leftover food by Brahmins in the 'made snana' ritual at the Kukke Subramanya Temple in Dakshina Kannada, states a report by Bangalore Mirror. The Apex Court has directed temple authorities to allow believers to roll on the food offered to the deity instead. 'Made snana' is an traditional ritual in which people belonging to the lower caste roll over the food leftovers by Brahmins after eating. The ritual, it is believed, can cure skin illness, states the report. However, there has been constant opposition from several quarters of the society, including Dalits and social activists, who have condemned the practice asserting it is discriminatory. In 2012, members of a Dalit community filed a case against the ritual. Since the temple is state run, the government had to defend the superstitions, adds the report. The High Court in 2012 had directed temple authorities to allow devotees to roll on the food offered to the deity of the temple instead of over the leftovers by Brahmins, but the SC had then stayed the order. After this, the temple continued the old ritual. Bangalore Mirror states that the temple authorities defended the ritual by saying that it was started by God and the choice of performing the ritual was voluntary. 'But the court observed that rituals which one caste induces on another promising social ascendancy would amount to indoctrination and no longer be voluntary', the report further states. In its November 8, 2012 order, the court had directed a modification of the ritual. "Practice of a particular community partially eating the food shall be discontinued which shall be replaced by food that is offered to the deity in the sanctum as naivedya which shall be placed on plantain leaves in the outer courtyard of the temple over which devotees shall be allowed to perform made snana. This food will not have been tasted or partially eaten by any community", the court order read. The court then had also directed the government to stop serving food to different castes separately.