OTHERS

BEA upset over links with Deendar Anjuman

HUBLI, JULY 20. The Bharat Ekta Andolan (BEA) headed by Mr. Buta Singh, former Union Minister, is upset over it being linked with the Deendar Anjuman, some members of which have been arrested in connection with the explosions set off in churches. The members of the latter were regular participants in the programmes of the BEA. This included peace marches and all-religion conferences.

In a conference organised by the BEA in Tumkur on July 2, Moulvi Sayyed Bhasha and Moulana Mohammed Sufi Iqbal Ahmed Saheb Deshmukh of the Deendar Anjuman spoke.

Mr. Mahadeva Horatti, General Secretary of the BEA and President of the Basava Peace Mission, and Mr. Nashimath, an adviser to the BEA, expressed shock at the findings of the police. They told this correspondent that the Deendar Anjuman was not a part of the BEA, and added that no religious organisation was involved in the movement.

In 1992, activists of the Deendar Anjuman participated in a peace march organised by the BEA from Basavakalyan. They started participating in BEA programmes, including the World Peoples' Conference held at Solapur in Maharashtra in January, since then. The speakers from the organisation used to stress on the "oneness" of all religions, and quote from Hindu scriptures in Sanskrit, and the sharanas in Kannada. They also used to speak about Islam.

In the Tumkur conference, the members of the Deendar Anjuman criticised the activities of Pakistan. They were signatories to the resolution urging the Union Government to reject the demand for autonomy for Jammu and Kashmir. They also endorsed the resolution stating that India should not be allowed to "disintegrate". The BEA did not intervene when they had an argument with the local Muslims.

Mr. Horatti and Mr. Nashimath said that they had participated in the "urs" and all-religion conference organised by the sect in Hyderabad, and found nothing suspicious. The BEA had rejected the suggestion from the Deendar Anjuman activists that they be allowed to become the joint organisers of the conference.

The BEA members said that their activities for promoting communal harmony had been affected by the findings of the police. The organisation was launched in 1990-91 to promote national integration, secularism and democracy and to oppose divisive and communal forces. The former Chief Justice of India, Mr. Ranganath Mishra, was one of its members. It had undertaken a 16,000-km peace march, and organised "sant sammelanas" at various places in the country. The then Prime Minister, Mr. P.V.Narasimha Rao, and the former Prime Minister, Mr. Chandrasekhar, addressed the all- religion conference organised in 1992 in New Delhi by the organisation. Mr. B.D.Jatti, former Vice-President, Mr. Khurshed Alam Khan, former Karnataka Governor, and the political leaders such as Mr. Raghunatha Reddy, Mr. Farooq Abdullah, Mr. Harkishan Singh Surjeet, and Mr. Indrajit Gupta, Jathedar Rachpal Singh, Jathedar Jiwan Singh Umarmangal and chief ministers of various states had participated in its programmes. Religious leaders were also involved in them.

The BEA had instituted the Bharat Mataki Mahan Suput Award and the Bharat Ekta Award. The former Prime Minister, late Rajiv Gandhi, Mr. P.V.Narasimha Rao, Mother Theresa, Acharya Muni Sushilkumarji, Mr. B.D.Jatti, Mr. Ranganath Mishra, late Mallikarjun Mansur, and Ms. Mohsina Kidwai were recipients of these awards.