Tribune News Service
Dehradun, May 24
A target of upper caste hegemony, economically weak craftsmen and artistes of Uttarakhand are facing the worst form of discrimination. Not only are they debarred from entering temples, casteist slurs are heaped on them regularly and they are even denied water from village source, a basic human right.
Be it the sanskar ceremony, the opening of temple portals in Uttarakhand or social movements, drum beaters or aujis are summoned without fail to perform customary rituals. It is aujis who have kept alive the culture of musical instruments for centuries and it is their hands that have chiselled many statutes of gods and goddesses that adorn temples in hills. Ironically, they are denied entry in several temples in Uttarakhand and have to travel several kilometres to quench their thirst. [more]