Dharma Sansad ends with talks on Ram Mandir and caste reforms; attempts at inciting speech made
UDUPI: A sea of saffron emerged on the roads to witness the culmination of the three-day Dharma Sansad and the Virat Hindu Samajotsav on November 26.
With women seemingly outnumbering men, enthusiastic crowds waving saffron flags, tableaux and people in costumes took part in the “Shobha Yatra”, which started from Jodukatte and concluded at M.G.M. ground. As a symbol of communal harmony, Muslim men distributed refreshments to the tired masses. People from all over Udupi district and the neighbouring regions participated in the program. The crowd seemed fairly disappointed with the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath who was to give the keynote address after he canceled his visit.
Remembering the martyrs of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks VHP International Working President Pravinbhai Togadia said that Hafiz Saeed (considered the mastermind of the attacks) is still alive and roaming freely in Pakistan. “It is our desire to eliminate Pakistan and every trace of it from the map of the world”, he warned. Speaking about Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s controversial movie Padmavati, Togadia said: “Rani Padmini is like a mother to us, and it is because of her and thousands of other women’s sacrifice that we are here today, and we will not let someone disrespect this sacrifice”.
The streets turned into a sea of saffron for the event. || Photograph courtesy: Aaryan Tandon
Need for caste reforms highlighted:
Togadia reiterated that untouchability is one of the greatest problems plaguing the religion and there is no place in the religion for the same. Asking people to adhere to the Parivar Mitra plan, he said, “Every Hindu should befriend a person from the Scheduled Caste and see through that their children get an education and their girls are married.” He further stressed on his desire for a Ram Rajya and said that he wishes to solve the unemployment crisis and equip the framers for better output. “Farmers are not asking for money, but what they deserve for their hard work.”
Emphasizing the importance of social harmony, Pejawar seer Vishwesha Theertha Swamiji said, “It is Krishna’s message that one doesn’t become great by his caste or creed but by their righteousness and devotion”. Clarifying on the ongoing protests against remarks made by him about the Indian constitution and Ambedkar, he said: “It was never an intention to insult Ambedkar or Dalits. I did not seek to end the reservation, I just said that the facilities available to the minorities should be provided to the majority too. That is why I talked about amendments to the constitution. Some people twisted my words out of context.”
Madara Chennaiah Swamiji recited an anecdote about caste discrimination in his village. “It is hard to even imagine the extent of discrimination Ambedkar had to face during his times, but now times have changed and people are becoming more aware and equality is on the increase”. He also called upon the people to revere the cow and worship it.
The mood was almost carnivalesque in Udupi. || Photograph courtesy: Aaryan Tandon
Construction of Ram Mandir required:
Urging the revival of the Ram Mandir project, Togadia said “The first Hindu Sansad was held in Udupi and it is from here that the Ram Mandir movement started and gained momentum. We do not aspire to become MPs or Tatas and Birlas; our only demand is that Ram Mandir should be built.”
Vishwesha Theertha Swamiji, who earlier talked about dedicating himself to the construction of the Ram Mandir after his Paryaya in 2018 said, “I will not have peace till the Ram Mandir is built. Within one year we will start the construction and by 2019 it should be ready.”
VHP’s Karnataka state secretary did not shy away from making inciting comments. || Photograph courtesy: Aaryan Tandon
Attempts at inciting speech made:
Removed from the talks of inner reform, VHP’s Karnataka state secretary Gopal Hegde said that Muslims and Hindus should only marry inside their religions. He then urged people to teach their sisters the difference between Hindu and Muslim men. “Muslim men can marry up to four women, and Hindu women who marry such men will be sidelined by three more women and may sometimes be enslaved and pushed into prostitution”, he alleged.
Speaking on the issues of cow slaughter he said, “When Shivaji was a still a young boy he saw a big man trying to cut a cow, he plunged on to him and chopped off his hands”. He then asked them “If you see someone trying to slaughter a cow, what will you do?” He further went on to say that “A Hindu who is converted to Christianity or Islam, is an enemy created.”
Edited by Shivani Singh
Featured Image by Adwitiya Shukla