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Upendra Mohan Rao | HENB | Mangaluru | July 2, 2017:: Members and supporters of Sri Rama Sene, Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha and Hindu Janajagruti Samiti condemned Pejawar Mutt pontiff Sri Vishweshatheertha Swami’s move to host an Iftar programme on June 24 for Muslims at Udupi Sri Krishna Mutt on Eid -Ul-Fitr. In many places in Karnata, the Hindu outfits arranged protest rallies condemned Pejawar seer’s unpleasant ‘Iftar’ move for inviting ‘beef eaters’ and ‘ anti-idol worshipers’ inside the Udupi Krishna Mutt.
The protesters who gathered at Lalbagh Circle on Sunday, simultaneous to the statewide protests by Hindu outfits, said that the Swami has pained the sentiments of Hindus by hosting an Iftar meet in the Udupi Mutt, for those who consume beef. This is an insult to Hindus and, therefore, the Pejawar seer has to apologise to Hindus, they demanded.
Hindu Mahasabha state spokesperson Dharmendra said that the protesters have huge respect for Udupi Mutt. “But the gesture of the Pejawar Swami has come as a shock to the Hindus. The seer has become a victim of political conspiracy. As the elections are nearing, the BJP seems to have manipulated the Swami’s thoughts so as to appease the minority,” he said.
Dharmendra, meanwhile, raised an objection to the Pejawar seer’s earlier statement that Muslims have donated land to Krishna Mutt. “The donation should not have any connection to Swami hosting the Iftar. If the Swami is not able to follow the code of conduct of the Sri Krishna Mutt, he should appoint a successor designate,” he said. He further questioned why the Pejawar seer was not opposing the act of conversion of a Hindu family to Islam in Kaup.
Sri Ram Sene district committee secretary Prasad Poojary asked the intention behind the Pejawar seer’s move to host the Iftar party separately at the Mutt. People from any religion can enter the Krishna Mutt and have the glimpse of the presiding deity and take prasadam. The seer, however, has invited those to the Iftar party who does not believe in idol worship, he argued.
Hindu Janajagruti Samiti leader Chandra Mogera also spoke. The protesters raised pro-Hindu slogans and displayed placards against the move of the seer. They urged to purify the Mutt premises.
On suday in Udupi, members of district units of Sri Rama Sene and Hindu Janajagriti Samiti were singing bhajans in protesting against the Iftar held at Sri Krishna Mutt.
Sri Rama Sene along with Hindu Janajagruti Samithi, held a protest against the organising of an Iftar at Udupi Krishna Mutt while in Bengaluru, the protest was led by Sri Rama Sene chief Pramod Muthalik.
The protests were also staged in the twin cities of Hubballi and Dharwad, following the call given by Sri Ram Sene chief Pramod Mutalik who has been critical about the Pejawar Mutt seer holding Iftar inside the mutt premises in Udupi.
In Hubballi, the sene members staged the protest and shouted slogans condemning the seer’s move to host Iftar in a Hindu religious centre. They alleged that holding the Iftar inviting the Muslim community members inside the mutt premises has spoiled the religious sanctity of the Krishna Mutt, which is one of the most important Hindu religious centres of India, they added.
In Dharwad, the sene members staged the protest at Swami Vivekananda Circle. The protesters, while condemning the seer’s move, said that they had high regard for the seer but would not concur with him hosting events such as Iftar. Such things affect the sentiments of the larger sections of devotees. Moreover, it was unfortunate that some of the BJP leaders too have supported Pejawar Mutt and this is just a political gimmick keeping in view the Assembly election. However, the Sri Ram Sene would not support any injustice to Hindus, they said.
Actually, a shadow Islamic body consisting of Abdul Azeez, secretary, state Youth Congress, Karnataka state BJP Minority Morcha Vice President and Raheem Ucchil, Karnataka Rakshana Vedike’s Ansar Ahmed and Krishna Mutt Iftaar Iftar Souharda Koota Coordinator Aarif, was formed to make an inroad to Pejawar Mutt management through this Iftaar programme.
Meanwhile, members of the Janata Dal (United) staged a demonstration in Hubballi supporting the seer for hosting the Iftar on the mutt premises. The party leader, Srishailgouda Kamatar, the former MLC Savitri Gundi, and others, who led the demonstration, said that such programmes at a time when the country was witnessing communal violence would help promote harmony and brotherhood in society. Leaders of all religious institutions should emulate such moves.
The Pejawar Swamiji however remained firm on his stand. “I will not react to the statement of Pramod Muthalik. Those who are opposing the Iftar, do not know the Shastras well enough. How has this (Iftar) harmed Dharma? I am not affected by the protest. I am into my routine puja and religious activities,” the Swamiji told reporters.
Interestingly, Hindutva ‘monopolist’ Sangha Parivar (RSS-VHP-BJP…) bypassed the Hindu sentiments severely bruised by the Pejawar Seer, who is incidentally a living legend and founder member of Vishwa Hindu Parishad.