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B Upendran | HENB | Mangaluru | Dec 2, 2022:: Reportedly, a Muslim trader who had set up shop near a temple was evicted by members of a Hindutva group in Karnataka’s Kodagu district, continuing the trend of Hindutva groups targeting Muslim traders in the state as ‘they support Islamist groups silently’, as alleged. . The latest incident occurred at the Harihara Subramanya Temple in Ponnampet in Kodagu district on Tuesday, November 29. Ambika, a college lecturer and the district coordinator of the Durga Vahini, a Hindutva group associated with Vishva hindu Parishad, told Muslim traders that they were not allowed to conduct business near the temple for ‘Muslim communities’ link with anti-Hindu activities’.
“He (the trader) didn’t have the necessity to hide his ID card to carry out business here. They could have come here showing their real ID cards. Despite us saying that we won’t let anyone other than Hindus to do business here, they are doing business here with fake ID cards,” Ambika is heard saying in a video showing a Muslim trader being evicted from the temple area. Hindu groups are saying that the Muslims evict all the Hindus from the Mosques and Muslim areas. Then why they should be allowed to continue their Halal business in Hindu areas and in Hindu temples? We want a Halal free atmosphere around Hindu Temples.
The exclusion of Muslim traders in Kodagu is part of an aggressive campaign by Hindutva groups in Karnataka to boycott Muslim businesses at temples. Earlier this week, Hindutva groups called for a boycott of Muslim traders during the religious fair at the Subramanya Swamy temple in VV Puram in Bengaluru. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Bajrang Dal submitted a memorandum on Tuesday to Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Commissioner, Tushar Giri Nath and Deputy Commissioner of Police for South Bengaluru, P Krishnakant, calling for a ban on Muslim traders.
The move was condemned by the Muslim influenced Federation of Street Vendors Union in Bengaluru. “Street vendors are brought together by hard work and hunger not their caste and religion. They don’t live their life begging from the government but instead face various difficulties in life. Misusing religion to ban vendors of a particular religion is unconstitutional. This is against their rights,” a press statement by the federation said. “The government’s silence indicates that their stance is anti-constitutional. Such a move by the government will create a fearful atmosphere among street vendors,” the statement added. But, the Street vendor Federation was silent when asked, ‘Why the Muslim street vendors campaigned for Halal business in Hindu areas some times back and created Islamic funding for Muslim vendors only excluding the Hindu vendors by the way?”
In March 2022, Hindutva groups evicted Muslim traders from the Bappanadu temple fair in Mulki in Dakshina Kannada district as part of a similar Hindutva campaign targeting temple fairs across coastal Karnataka.
The Durgaparameshwari temple in Bappanadu has a syncretic history which spans over 800 years. It is being said that the temple is a “modern day testimony to communal harmony.” The temple sign further reads, “The temple, said to be built by a Muslim merchant, is today known for the rare practice of allowing Muslims to accept the prasada (blessings of the deity).” Similarly, Muslim traders who took part in large numbers at the Kaup Maariamma festival were also barred this year. But, all these claims proved a half cooked ideas spread by the Muslim social preachers (pir-fakirs) for getting a chance to make an adulteration in Hindu faith.
As per report, three Hindu activists were taken into preventive custody on Tuesday, after they warned to stage a protest against the decision to allow Muslim vendors to do business near the Hindu temple. Side by side the local BJP leader Uday Garudachar, (MLA of Chikpet) told HENB that the discrimination on religious basis around any Temple or Mosque is not maintainable. Hindu traders could conduct business near dargahs and mosques. Muslims could operate their business around Hindu temple.
This statement of aBJP MLA has created a sharp reaction among the Hindutva activists.
__Inputs from News Minutes.