The cover story in the Organiser examines the current temple entry movements and says that a “temple is a symbol of man’s gratitude towards God”. Claiming that these “places are of late being made into centres of testing political or social strength”, the article cites the instance of the Shani Shingnapur temple to say, “some women activists tried to catch fish in the troubled waters” and a “section of the media found it fit to increase their TRP”. It notes that a woman, Anita Shete, is president of the trust and “she herself has been opposing the entry of women at Shani Shila Chabutara”. In ancient India, these temples were a part of popular life. There was a variety of temples for every occasion, such as Shakti Peeths that “were reserved for tantric activities”. Obviously, these temples had different “rules of management and discipline and restrictions”. At some places entry was barred for men while in some others women were restricted. Some other temples were taboo for children and adolescents. There have been reforms, but while initiating any move to amend these regulations, care was taken to preserve the tradition and prestige of these places: “The major challenge before the followers of different sects and faiths in changing times today is to maintain [a] balance between the spiritual dignity of temples and the social rights…”
An editorial in the Organiser calls the recent assault on a Tanzanian woman in Bangalore “horrendous in the series of growing terrorist and criminal activities in the state”. Noting that “what is more shocking is the silence of the Congress leadership who do not miss a chance to raise the bogey of intolerance”, but is quiet “on continuous deterioration of law and order… in the Congress-ruled state”. The editorial says that Rahul Gandhi, who rushed to Dadri and Hyderabad, did not even bother to ask the chief minister from his own party about the action he has taken on such a ghastly incident. It notes that recently an “Australian man was violently harassed for sporting a tattoo of a Bharateeya Goddess”.
Contending that “identity politics in every form is a favourite dictum of [the] Congress”, the editorial says that “sometimes it is Muslim, then Dalit, now a Bengalurian, conveniently missing that a foreign student also had an identity which was diplomatically much more sensitive”. It notes that crime in Bangalore is on the rise, as many terrorists and their sympathisers have been arrested in Karnataka. “Radical ideology is gaining ground in [the] northern parts of the state,” says the editorial.
Not a Suicide
Panchajanya has carried an interview of ABVP leader N. Sushil Kumar, the controversial student leader of Hyderabad Central University, who was in the news following the suicide of Rohith Vemula. Kumar explains the events leading to the suicide and says that “the persons with whom Rohith was associated had organised a tribute for Yakub Memon” in July last year. “Subsequently, we decided to protest against such activities. Later, over 30-40 people stormed my hostel room and brutally assaulted me…” Later, they also forced him to write an apology and posted it on Facebook.
“We were worried about such events, hence we asked for the intervention of the Central government. They organised a tribute for Yakub Memon, but not for Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam,” Kumar says. He adds that he was “deeply disturbed by Rohith’s suicide”, he didn’t have any personal enmity with him.
Kumar asks those who are now giving the case a new twist where they were when he was suspended from the hostel. He demands a neutral probe, and doubts that it was suicide. “Vemula was such a courageous person that he would present his case convincingly before hundreds of persons. He could not have committed suicide. If the case is probed, the real culprits will come up,” he says.