Dalit Liberation icon in Eraiyur passes away

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By DCD Reporter

Eraiyur: The Dalit Christians of Eraiyur have mourned the death of Mariasamy. He was the icon of the Dalit Christians and he bravely installed the statue of Mother Mary in the place where the Dalit Christians built a Church for themselves when they were denied entry.

Mariasamy passed away on February 9 at 4 am. He was 84.

Eraiyur is a small village situated in Kallukurichi district of Tamil Nadu, south India. It is known for its caste clashes in 1999, where the body of the mother of Fr. A.C Irudayanathan was denied to be brought through the main street of the village.

There were clashes against this untouchable practice and in the end, the body was buried in a cemetery belonged to the Dalit Christians.

In the same village, the Dalit Christians protested against caste discrimination from March 9, 2008. Two people were shot dead by the police.

Through the intervention of the police, the caste clashes have stopped, the Dalit Christians continue to face discrimination in the Church.

During the caste clashes, the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour was attacked by Dominant Caste Christians.

A resident of Eraiyur, Mariasamy worked as a daily wage worker in Chennai Kothuval Chavadi.

He helped many Dalits to find jobs for them in Chennai. When they all gathered on Sundays in Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Church in Broadway, Chennai, the Dalit Christians used to discuss issues their village faced.

As a result of their conversation, they all collected money and brought a statue of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour and installed it in the Church for the Dalit Christians in Eraiyur.

He was the president of the association of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Church at Eraiyur.

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