The Kalaram Mandir Satyagraha for equal rights

After the successful Mahad Satyagraha and the rebellious agitation of the burning of Manusmriti, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar launched the Temple Entry Movements for the equal rights of the untouchables. Dr. Ambedkar believed that one of the ways to eradicate untouchability is to allow social places open for each and every person irrespective of one’s caste.
The first such satyagraha for the temple entry was launched on 9th October, 1929, at the Pune’s Parvati Temple. However, it was the Nasik’s Kalaram Mandir Satyagraha that drew major attention. The Kalaram Mandir Satyagraha at Nasik was started on 2nd March, 1930, and it ended on 9th April, 1930. Dr. Ambedkar under his leadership launched the peaceful Satyagraha. A mile-long procession with 15,000 men and 500 female volunteers, were taken in batches towards the Kalaram Mandir. The caste-Hindus pelted stones and shoes on the procession. After one month, a compromise between the untouchables and the caste-Hindus  was reached. They agreed that on the day of Ram Navami ( Ram’s Birth Anniversary) ceremony , one strong man from the untouchables and one strong man from the caste-Hindus shall draw the chariot of Ram.
On the day of Ram Navami, this agreement was unfortunately, broken by the caste-Hindus. They drew the chariot themselves without allowing any of the untouchable men to hold it. This led to severe agitation by the untouchables. The Kalaram Mandir was closed for the whole year. The news of Kalaram Mandir Satyagraha and the unjust arrests of it’s volunteers was mentioned in The Times, London. This episode led Dr. Ambedkar’s resolve to fight untouchability more robust. The Satyagraha increased Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar’s influence and impact socially and politically in the country.

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