BANGALORE: Clarifying his stand on the ‘made snana’ ritual, pontiff of Pejawar Mutt Vishweshwa Teertha Swami at a special discussion on Sunday said he never justified the practice but differed on the method of stopping it.
“I have never supported ‘made snana’. In fact, when the CM approached me, I told him the government can bring in a law against it. I will do everything in my capacity to stop it,” he said.
Speaking amid hostile representatives of various mutts from across the state, the pontiff said he was largely misquoted on his stand. “I have always had the tag of Dwandacharya (duality in thought). But on this issue, I am not at all confused. Reacting to ‘made snana’ in the form of protests will only amplify the practice. I believe in involving everyone to convince them to refrain from the practice. Eye for an eye will not suffice,” he said.
The discourse, organised by Nidumamidi Mahasamsthana Mutt and Manavadharma Peeta, was apparently aimed to get the pontiff to speak against the practice, and persuade him to ask the government to ban it.
“All the ill-practices are part of a larger caste system. Dalits may want to worship Lord Krishna in my mutt. Not all Madhwas are allowed to do so, let alone Brahmins. In Tirupati, only the Vykhanas sect of the Sri Vaishnavas are allowed to do so. No Constitution or court has an answer to this,” he said.
Veerabhadra Chenamalla Swami raised the issue of conflict between religion and Constitution, and said he would choose the Constitution over anything else in the interest of humanity. The Pejawar seer said. “My ‘confused person’ tag is because I have tried to respect religion and the Constitution. I am not ready to compromise on religion over Constitution. In case of a conflict, I will act in a manner that upholds the ideals of the Constitution without disrespecting religion,” he said.