After an organisation of warkaris (pilgrims) criticised Sharad Pawar for “promoting atheism” and urged the community members to stop inviting him to religious events, the NCP chief on Saturday hit back saying that there was no need for anybody’s permission to visit temples.
Rashtriya Warkari Parishad had recently issued a statement in which it had urged the community members to stop inviting today’s “atheist rulers” for religious functions or for events like inaugurations or lectures.
“Honourable Sharad Pawar saheb says there is no need of Ramayana. He supports those who indulge in insult of gods, saints, Hindu religion… Therefore, warkaris should remain cautious in future and always remember that they are Hindu first,” the Parishad had said. It also urged the warkari community to stop inviting those politicians to religious functions, inaugurations or to give lectures, who promote atheist thought.
Addressing a gathering in Alandi, a popular pilgrim town in Pune district, Pawar said there was no need to seek anyone’s permission to visit Lord Vitthal’s temple in Pandharpur and pray there.
“Nobody needs anyone’s permission to visit Dyaneshwar maooli in Alandi, Tukaram Maharaj in Dehu or Pandurang Vitthal in Pandharpur. I visit them often but don’t make the visits public. There’s no need of obtaining any permission to visit these temples,” he said. “Therefore, if anyone says that you don’t have permission to visit these places, then I think they don’t understand the thought of the warkari sampraday (sect),” he added.
“A true warkari will never take such a stand. I think we should ignore such things and follow our own choices,” Pawar said.
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