KARNATAKA

Vedike to observe `Souharda Saptaha'

Staff Correspondent

MANGALORE: The Dakshina Kannada district committee of the Karnataka Komu Souharda Vedike has urged the State Government to maintain pre-June 1975 status quo at Bababudangiri in Chikmagalur district. The vedike has made a fervent plea to the Government not to allow anyone, either individuals or organisations, to disturb this status quo in contravention of the High Court ruling.

The vedike has decided to observe a Statewide "Souharda Saptaha" from Monday with the message, "Let us free Bababudangiri from communal forces," to counter what it called the "disinformation campaign" of the Sangh Parivar and its outfits. The campaign will get under way at Chikmagalur on Monday. Its valedictory will be held on the Central College grounds in Bangalore on December 11.

K.L. Ashok, general secretary of the central committee of the vedike, told presspersons here on Saturday that the vedike and other like-minded secular organisations have been assiduously countering a campaign by the Sangh Parivar to stoke communal passions on the Bababudangiri issue since 1999. It is only this sustained effort that has kept them at bay for all these years, he noted.

Welcoming the stand taken by the Government to ban all religious activities at the Datta Peeta last year, he urged the Government to take the same stand this year as well.

Mr. Ashok, however, disapproved of the Government's action in officially organising Datta Jayanti last year. The Government by doing so had played into the hands of Sangh Parivar, he said.

The vedike also demanded that the Government take steps to stop organisations from taking out Dattamala Abhiyan this year.

K.M. Sharief, President of the Karnataka Forum for Dignity, said vested interests are trying to give a communal touch to small incidents as seen in a string of incidents in Dakshina Kannada of late.