Several Hindu outfits, including VHP and Bajrang Dal, have come out in protest against the move of Congress chief whip in Karnataka legislative council Ivan d’Souza to organise ‘Bhavaikyata Diwali’ (Diwali for unity) in the Sri Manjunatha temple at Kadri here on October 29. The organisations felt that D’Souza’s entry into the temple would ‘defile its sanctity’ and contended that Hindu religious places should be limited to Hindus only, VHP regional working president M B Puranik said in a statement. “However, they have no qualms about district-in-charge Minister B Ramanath Rai organising a similar event in the temple. If D’souza is so particular, let him celebrate Diwali in a church,” he said.
Puranik said VHP and all Hindu organisations strongly condemned the move to organise a ‘politically motivated’ programme inside the temple and urged the district administration, police and the Endowment department to stop it. It was the contention of the outfits that non-Hindus should not organise any religious programme in a Hindu temple managed by the Endowment department.
Puranik demanded action against officials who gave permission for the programme. Holding that cancellation of the event was the only way to ensure justice to Hindus, he said VHP had the support of all Hindu outfits on this issue.
VHP and Bajrang Dal leaders also submitted a memorandum to Dakshina Kannada district deputy commissioner K G Jagadeesh opposing the programme on the ground that Hindu religious institutions should not be allowed to be ‘misused’.