Karnataka

Seer warns against ‘hurting’ Vokkaligas

Nanjavadhoota Swami, a religious head of Vokkaligas, addressing a gathering on Wednesday.

Nanjavadhoota Swami, a religious head of Vokkaligas, addressing a gathering on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: Handoutemail

If they get united, politics will get polarised, he says

In a veiled warning to the BJP, Nanjavadhoota Swami, a religious head of Vokkaligas, on Wednesday said the community was watching the developments silently, and that it was the responsibility of the State and Central governments not to make them angry.

“This [numbers in the rally in Bengaluru] is only a sample and symbolic. If the community is hurt, more people will descend on Bengaluru. If we seers call for a protest, there will be no place in Bengaluru. Now only community representatives are here and not the entire community,” he said in his address at Freedom Park.

Adichunchanagiri Mutt Seer Nirmalananda Swami, who had met Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar’s family after his arrest, was not present at the rally. Clarifying that the rally was not to protest against law or legal action, but to show the community’s feeling of hurt, Sri Nanjavadhoota Swami said, “Vokkaligas are good, silent, and large hearted. But their satwika kopa (righteous anger) can be damning.” Reminding the BJP that the community had also contributed many legislators and Members of Parliament, he said, “The community should not be targeted. If community gets united, politics will get polarised. Even the Chief Minister expressed sympathies initially after Mr. Shivakumar’s arrest, but he fell silent later.”

He said, “Earlier governments would have six to seven Ministers from the community, but we have only three in this government, and they do not have any Ministries who have mass contact. Mr. Ashok should have been given higher responsibility.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi should be involved in nation building, he said, and added, “Regard for healthy opposition is the hallmark of a good leader. Opposition voices should not be curbed. Its not good for the health of the country.”

Autonomous bodies should be allowed to work with autonomy, he said, and added that ordinary citizens were getting the feeling that institutions were being misused. “If Mr. Shivakumar is an accused, there is a law. The manner in which he was treated, however, is bad. He sought permission to conduct rituals to honour his ancestors, but was denied permission,” the seer said.

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Printable version | May 25, 2020 2:56:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/seer-warns-against-hurting-vokkaligas/article29395532.ece

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