Pejawar seer calls for a truce over ideological battle at Udupi

Pejawar seer calls for a truce over ideological battle at Udupi

Submitted by alvin on Sat, 2016-10-22 18:44 Bengaluru: As the temple town, Udupi, hots up, anticipating another showdown between progressive activists and right wing cadres on Sunday, Pejawar math seer Vishvesha Thirtha swami has attempted to call a truce between the two warring groups.The Pejawar math head spoke to Dinesh Amin Mattu, media advisor to chief minister Siddaramaiah, wrote suggesting that the Pejawar seer make his stand clear. Amin Mattu questioned why Pejawar seer – who has been vocal about equal rights of dalits, was quiet when the right wing activists’ ‘Kanaka Nadige’ was being termed as “fitting reply” to dalits’ ‘Udupi Chalo’ rally. ‘Udupi Chalo’ was organised by Dalitha Damanithara Horata Samiti. For the uninitiated, dalits and other oppressed communities recently held ‘Udupi Chalo’ rally seeking to ban ‘panktibheda’ in Udupi temple. Panktibheda is discrimination in offering free food for devotees at the temple, with the higher castes receiving preferential treatment by being fed separately. The dalits even threatened to lay siege to the temple if their demand for equality was not met with. Now, as an apparent counter to ‘Udupi Chalo’, right wing activists are holding ‘Kanaka Nadige’ – on October 23 - to clean the streets where ‘Udupi Chalo’ activists had marched, in an attempt to purify the streets sullied by the dalits. Condemning this, dalits and oppressed classes are taking out a rally ‘Swabhimanada Nadige’ on Sunday too, setting the stage for a high-voltage showdown. According to Amin Mattu's social media post, Pejawar seer telephoned him twice to explain his stand from that of ‘Kanaka Nadige’. He is said to have told him that he was unaware that ‘Kanaka Nadige’ was being held to oppose ‘Udupi Chalo’ rally. He also feigned ignorance on right wing activists’ plan to clean the streets where dalits and oppressed communities walked on during their ‘Udupi Chalo’ rally. The seer clarified that while he could not convince the right wing activists to withdraw their Sunday’s rally, but he has been assured that they would only clean up the streets of temple and the streets where the dalits’ march took place, not as planned. Pejawar seer further told Amin Mattu that he had always championed the rights of dalits, andcondemned illegal activities in the name of cow protection. The seer promised that he would raise the issue of land rights for dalits at Sunday’s programme. He reiterated that he would support the cause of dalits and appealed Amin Mattu to end the ideological differences. Amin Mattu, earlier, in his FB post had questioned Pejawar seer on his silence over ‘Kanaka Naidge’ when such a programme was being planned from those close to the temple! Also, wondered why the seer did not support for the ‘Udupi Chalo’ rally, when he claimed to have always spoken for the rights of dalits. Through his FB appeal, he wanted the seer to condemn ‘Kanaka Nadige’ as it was aimed at disrespecting the sentiments of dalits and oppressed class. However, he made it clear that claiming their rights or sharing food with Brahmins at temple was not the only prioritiy for dalits. But education and equal rights were.