Lawyer for Muslim students in hijab row targeted, Ramakrishna Mission seer defends him

Sources told TNM that a few members of the GSB community, to which advocate Devadatt Kamat belongs, had asked for him to be excommunicated.
Senior advocate Devadatt Kamat
Senior advocate Devadatt Kamat
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Advocate Devadatt Kamat, who has been representing the female Muslim students in both the Karnataka High Court and the Supreme Court in the ongoing hijab row, has been subject to criticism for the same. According to sources, apart from comments and messages online, some members of the Gaud Saraswat Brahmin (GSB) community, to which Devadatt belongs, had asked for him to be excommunicated.

In response, Swami Bhaveshanand of Ramakrishna Ashram in Karwar has issued a statement of support to Kamat, saying that it was his professional responsibility. In the press statement, the religious leader said, “I am more pained to observe that the name of Shri Devadatt Kamat, Senior Advocate in the Supreme Court, is being dragged in this controversy simply because he represented a party in the Court as an Advocate. Some elements are trying to brand him as supporting a cause against Hindu religion. This perception is absolutely uncalled for and baseless. A lawyer representing a client in the court has to do his duty and justice to his client's cause. That is a professional duty and responsibility. It cannot be branded as a cause against the Hindu religion.”

The seer started his media statement calling the ongoing discussion “unnecessary” and termed the controversy as “not in good taste and the interest of peace and harmony in the society”.

He further said, “Shri Devadatt Kamat is a devout follower of Shri Ramakrishna Vivekanand philosophy and an ardent devotee of Shri Ramakrishna Ashram since his childhood. He is a spiritually oriented person and comes from a spiritual background. He is held in high esteem by the people of Uttar Kannada for his support and contribution to the cause of Uttar Kannada.”

When TNM reached out to Kamat, he refused to elaborate on the issue. He said, “I have nothing further to say except that it is my professional dharma to defend a client and I will do it to the best of my ability.”

Sources told TNM that members of the GSB community had written to the religious leader asking for the lawyer to be excommunicated for his choice to represent the Muslim students. Sources said the people had highlighted that Kamat had even quoted Quranic phrases as part of the litigation. The GSB community is influential in public life and businesses in the coastal region of Karnataka and the neighbouring states of Goa and Kerala. Members of the community were also the first adopters of the RSS ideology in the region.

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