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|February 19, 1999||
VHP has dalit ordained as priest in Kerala
Marking a rare moment in the social renaissance of Kerala, a 60-year-old dalit was made a priest after several decades, when T K Subramanian was given 'Sanyasa Deeksha' yesterday.
At the end the of ten-hour long traditional rituals performed amidst the chanting of hymns, which started at Brahma Muhurtam, Subramanian -- a member of Pulaya community -- became Swami Visudhananda after receiving Deeksha from Guru Nishkanandapuri, chief of Sri Ramakrishna Mission at Ammankatakara in Pathanamthitta district.
The event, held under the aegis of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, assumed much significance as he was the first member of Pulaya community to be ordained as priest and the first from any Scheduled Caste or Tribe, after the time of Sree Narayana Guru.
Subramanian, son of Kunjipengan from Irinjalakuda in Thrissur district, was working as a telecom employee before coming into contact with the Mission. He completed his degree from Christ College, Irinjalakuda, in 1964 and worked in the telecom department till 1996.
He recalled his visit to Poonkunnam Sri Ramakrishna Ashram as a turning point in his life. He later stayed in the ashram as a paying guest.
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