The city-based Dakshina Kannada Mattu Udupi Jillegala Hindulida Jathigala Okkuta has criticised the State government for its stand that the made snana ritual cannot be banned.

In a statement issued here on Friday, leaders of the okkuta (Federation of Backward Classes in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts) said the stand taken by the government was against the spirit of the Constitution. Legislators and ministers were elected by people belonging to all castes and creed and they had the responsibility of making laws that prevented social discrimination. Expressing helplessness in this regard amounted to defending the ritual, and it was not becoming of public servants.

They held out a veiled threat that backward classes may have to seek possession of Kukke Subramanya Temple if made snana was not stopped. They said the temple founded by Dalits may have to point out that Brahmins were appointed by them for worshipping the deity only.

They said leaders of religious places should remember that they were there to serve all and work towards the welfare of all and condemn any practice that hurt the self-respect of a community. Religious beliefs should have larger goals of providing relief to pains of the larger section of society. One should ensure that there was no violence and assault in a religious place. If religion made efforts to suppress a section belonging to it, people could look away from it.

The signatories to the statement included Vasudeva Boloor, vice-president, Jayanand Devadiga, secretary, and Sanjiv Shettigar, member.