KARNATAKA

Vishwanath terms seer's claim wrong

BIDAR, OCT. 7. The former Minister H. Vishwanath said here on Thursday that the "claims of Viswesha Tirtha Swamiji of Pejawar Math that the Udupi Krishna temple belonged to Brahmins or any one community are false, unfair, and not justified.''

Speaking to presspersons, Mr. Vishwanath said categorising the Udupi Math as a "denominational temple'' that belonged to Brahmins or to any one particular community and, therefore, could not be taken over by the Government, was to wrongly interpret the Supreme Court judgment.

The judgment was clear that the temple was a public place and people from every community should be allowed to visit it. "I have applied for the certified copies of the judgment and will give a detailed reply to the swamiji or to anyone," Mr. Vishwanath said.

Temple significant

There were thousands of Krishna temples in the country. But the Udupi temple was significant because it was the only place where the god turned so that his disciple could see him. Lord Krishna and Kanakadasa were both from the backward classes and the swamijis were saying that the temple belonged to the Brahmins, Mr. Vishwanath said.

It was also a symbol of the struggle for social justice, but the swamijis in charge of the temple had reduced it to a mere place of worship, he charged.

The former Minister H.M. Revanna demanded that all communities be treated equally in Udupi. Mr. Vishwanath invited the Bajrang Dal leader, Pramod Mutalik, to lead an agitation against the demolition of the "gopura" in Udupi.

Mr. Mutalik supported the demolition of the Babri Masjid saying that it was necessary to avoid hurting the feelings of Hindus.

"The Kuruba community and other backward classes are also Hindus, and we have been hurt by the demolition of the Kanaka gopura. Why is he not supporting us? Why is he not leading an agitation to restore the gopura?"

He criticised the Bajrang Dal and the Sangh Parivar for using youth from the backward classes as "soldiers in their communal activities."

"They do not understand our sensitivities but use us for their misdeeds," he charged.

Mr. Vishwanath also accused the swamijis of Udupi Math of not using the term "Kanakana kindi" for the window through which Kanakadasa is said to have got a glimpse of Lord Krishna. "Whenever the swamijis take VIPs around the math, they describe the window as the Navagraha kindi and not Kanakana kindi. This amounts to insulting Kanakadasa and the Kuruba community," he said.

Palace takeover

Mr. Vishwanath said that an unnecessary controversy was being created about the Chief Minister, N. Dharam Singh's statement about attempts to stall the proceedings to takeover the Mysore Palace. Mr. Singh had clarified that he had not issued any such statement. "I think the matter is settled," he said.

Mr. Vishwanath said that the claims by some Janata Dal (S) leaders that the Congress had lost the support of the backward classes with the former Congressman and Bidar MLA, Bandeppa Kashempur, joining that party were false.

"We still enjoy support of this section," he said.

Mr. Vishwanath said people from backward classes should remember that it was the Congress that provided opportunities to Mr. Kashempur to grow politically.

Mr. Revanna said it was the Congress Government that provided Scheduled Tribe certificates to people of the Gond community and allowed them to contest the 1993 gram panchayat elections.

It was well known that this was done by the Congress and not the Janata Dal (S), he said.