CPI(M) activists to travel on foot from Mangalore to Udupi

Terming "made snana", rolling over plantain leaves containing leftovers of the food served to Brahmins, and “pankthi beda”, discrimination in serving food based on caste, as “anti-people” and “anti-constitution”, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) launched their series of rallies against the rituals in Kukke Subramanya on Friday.

The inauguration was marked amidst the presence of several police personnel, after the department granted them permission to stage the protest only outside the temple town.

CPI(M) State Secretary G.V. Sriram Reddy, who launched the rally, said the party “completely opposed” the “regressive” rituals. “The government has to make their stance clear on the issue. When the Karnataka High Court asked for a stance, the government said they opposed made snana and the ritual should be modified to Ede Snana (rolling over food offered to the deity). There is no difference in the rituals. Both should be banned,” he said.

He said that if practices such as sati and dowry could be banned despite the “blind belief” of people, then even Made Snana and Pankthi Beda could be banned.

K.S. Shivaram of the Karnataka State Backward Classes Awareness Forum, who was assaulted last year by devotees during the Made Snana at the temple, said that by condoning the ritual, the government shows that it “did not care” about the backward classes.

He urged the Pejavar swamiji to stop pankthi beda in Udupi Math.

The party's district secretary, B. Madhava, said the rallies were not against the devotees but against the government.

On December 24, the awareness rally would proceed, on foot, from Mangalore to Udupi, culminating in a protest meet on December 27.

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