The former chairman of Karnataka State Backward Classes Commission C.S. Dwarkanath said on Tuesday that Hinduism was at the crossroads now.

Mr. Dwarkanath was inaugurating the Dalit Shudra Swabhimani Samavesha (convention) organised by the Karnataka Dalit Sangharsha Samiti (Bheemavada) here. Mr. Dwarkanath said his concept of Hindu religion was the one supported by Swami Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandhi, and Lord Krishna. It was a tragedy that the broadminded ethos of Hinduism was getting buried in Udupi. He said Vishwesha Tirtha Swamiji of Pejawar Math was trying to consolidate Hindu vote bank in the name of giving “Vaishnava Deekshe” to Dalits. “While I respect the Pejawar seer as he is senior to me in age, I cannot accept his thoughts,” he said.

He said Lord Krishna had given his message that devotion was more important than caste. There would have been no problem if the swamiji wanted to give “Hindu Deekshe”. But by saying that he would give “Vaishnava Deekshe” to Dalits, the swamiji was giving more importance to sectarianism.

He said the Krishna Temple in Udupi belonged to all the Hindus and not to any particular math. Even the Supreme Court had in its ruling in December 1961 made it clear the Krishna Temple had not been built for private “pujas” of the swamijis of the Ashta Maths. Republican Party of India State unit president M. Venkataswamy, State Convener of DSS R. Mohanraj, Sarvajan Samaj Vedike State unit president B. Gopal, head of Karnataka Komu Sauharda Vedike K.L. Ashok, State convener of DSS G.P. Keragodu were present.

Mr. Dwarkanath said the Pejawar swamiji should allow Dalits to enter the sanctum sanctorum of the Sri Krishna Temple. The BJP Government was totally heartless to the plight of Dalits, he said.

Earlier, members of the DSS cleaned the Kanakadasa Mandira near Sri Krishna Temple and prayed there. They took out a procession from the Town Hall. A large number of people attended the convention.

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