Dalit Activism
The seer says that there is no discrimination in the mutt.
Seer with Modi, File Photo by Narendra Modi via Wikimedia Commons

Udupi’s Pejawar mutt seer Sri Vishwesha Thirtha Swamiji has accused the organisers of ‘Udupi Chalo’ event of maligning him, and he has reportedly threatened to go on an indefinite fast.

Udupi Chalo is a 10-day long event, organised to condemn the murder of Praveen Poojari by self-styled gau rakshaks.

Social worker Jignesh Mevani, who is a part of Udupi Chalo had reportedly given the mutt two months to stop the practice of Pankti Bheda (discrimination) in serving food to devotees, failing which they would lay siege to the mutt, reported The New Indian Express.

Pejawar seer said, “Udupi Chalo Jatha” was organized to protect people who lost their lives in the name of cattle protection. However, it ended up opposing the Krishna Mutt. I don't understand why they targeted the mutt. I'm hurt by their statements against the mutt.”

Refuting the allegations of discrimination at Krishna Mutt, he said, “We do not observe Pankti Bedha. However, some orthodox Brahmins demand a separate place to have food as they follow some rituals before a meal. Apart from that, there is only one Pankti food service for people of all religions.”

He urged the government to provide protection for the temple and appealed to the organisers of the event to have a dialogue with him, reported The Times of India.

“If Chalo Udupi persons protest in front of the mutt, I'll fast too and all my devotees will support me. The government should provide protection for the temple. I appeal to Chalo Udupi persons that instead of creating panic, let them come and talk to me,” he said.

“I've always fought for equality and stood with Dalits at all times. Muslims and Dalits love me and call me for all their programmes. However, some people are trying to spoil the relationship between Brahmins and non-Brahmins, in the name of Pankti Bedha and communal harmony and so on. The temples at Dharmasthala, Subramanya, Sringeri and some other places have a separate food-serving system. Why is only the Krishna Mutt being targeted?” he asked.

“I had condemned Praveen Poojari's killing too. Killing of innocents in the name of cow protection should not be encouraged,” he said.

“I'm told that a Swachata Andolan (cleaning up the mindset) has been scheduled on October 23. It's an effort of a few to create differences between people. Police should take steps to maintain peace on the temple premises,” he added.