District administration already held it for three days from March 20
Syed Ghouse Mohiyuddin Shakhadri, the Sajjada Nasheen (hereditary administrator) of the Sufi shrine of Guru Dattatreya Bababudan Swami Dargah, has decided go ahead with his plans to hold the three-day ‘urs' from March 26.
After attending a meeting convened by the Deputy Commissioner, Mr. Shakhadari told The Hindu that he, his family members and a few fakirs would visit the dargah and perform urs, irrespective of the preventive measures taken by the district administration.
“We have decided to take only around 50 people along with us. I don't want the devotees to gather in large numbers and get arrested. If the police arrest me, let them do so,” he said.
The district administration held the three-day urs from March 20, the day following ‘Holi Hunnime.'
Mr. Shakhadri boycotted the event as he had sought the district administration's permission to hold the event for three days from March 26.
The district administration rejected his plea on the grounds that the event should be held on the days following ‘Holi Hunnime' as per tradition.
The Supreme Court, in its interim order on March 1 said that Muzrai officials may seek the cooperation of the Sajjada to hold the functions related to the urs and the district administration had invited him to take part in the programme.
However, Mr. Shakhadri boycotted it and wanted the event to be held on the dates he had proposed.
Later, the district administration convened a meeting to resolve the issue on Wednesday.
Speaking to presspersons, Deputy Commissioner S.N. Channappa Gowda said Mr. Shakhadri had been convinced not to go ahead with the programme.
“It seems he is fully convinced. If at all he goes ahead with his plans, the district administration will take legal measures to avoid the entry of people to the shrine,” he said.
He also said the district administration might ban the entry of the public to the shrine in that event. Mr. Gowda said the district administration had already conducted the urs as per the tradition. There was no need of another one.
However, Mr. Shakhadri maintained that there was nothing wrong in holding urs twice a year.
“The urs is held to observe the death anniversary of my forefathers. Only I have to do that. The Muzrai Department officials have no authority to play my role. What is wrong if I pay homage to my forefathers?” he asked.
Mr. Shakhadri had been boycotting the urs since 2005, in protest against the district administration's directions not to place green cloth on the tomb, as part of the celebrations. He argued that placing green cloth on the tomb was a ritual that was part of the urs.
As the Supreme Court had given an order asking Muzrai officers to seek his cooperation to perform functions related to the urs, he could decorate the tomb with the green cloth, Mr. Shakhadri said. “I wanted the district administration to postpone the dates by a week so that I could invite fakirs for the programme. I got the court's order in my favour on March 1. I needed a week's time to make proper arrangements,” he said.
Mr. Shakhadri said that there was no strict rule that the urs should be held only the days following ‘Holi Hunnime.'
There were instances when the urs was held in April and June also.
“When my father was the Sajjada in 1976, he held the urs in June. When my grandfather was Sajjad, it was held in April once. In the past, the devotees decided to have urs on days following Holi because there was no lighting then. There is no need to follow the same now,” he said.