After hijab, ban on Muslims in temple jatras puts coastal Karnataka on edge

Newspaper advertisements put out by state-owned Sri Mahalingeshwara Temple in Puttur about auctioning of stalls for the 11-day jatra clearly states that only Hindus are allowed.

Published: 24th March 2022 06:09 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th March 2022 09:27 AM   |  A+A-

Traders at Marikamba Jatra festival put up saffron flags on their shops set up around the temple on Kote Road and, for the first time, no traders from the Muslim community have been allowed to put up

Express News Service

MANGALURU: The Karnataka Coast is in news for the wrong reasons again.

Even as the hijab controversy is still alive, some temples in the region have banned Muslim vendors from taking part in temple jatras, which is again threatening the peace in the communally sensitive region. 

In fact, the new controversy is a spillover from the hijab row.

The Hindutwa outfits do not want Muslim vendors to benefit from the temple jatras as a matter of retaliation to Muslims traders shutting all their businesses in support of Karnataka bandh against the High Court’s hijab verdict.

Since the past few years, Hindutva outfits have been putting up banners asking Muslim vendors to stay away from jatras, but this time the ‘discriminatory’ practice has got the government’s stamp.

Newspaper advertisements put out by state-owned Sri Mahalingeshwara Temple in Puttur about auctioning of stalls for the 11-day jatra clearly states that only Hindus are allowed.

ALSO READ | Non-Hindus can’t do business near temples: JC Madhuswamy

Temple Executive Officer Naveen Kumar Bhandary defends the move, citing an amendment brought in 2002 to the Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments Act, 1997, which says that no land, building or other property in the temple vicinity can be leased out to non-Hindus, to justify the auction notice.

He said this was not the first year wherein the temple had banned non-Hindu vendors and had been doing it at least for the last four years. 

This decision had a cascading effect in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts with at least six temples following suit.

Even Bappanadu Durgaparameshwari Temple in Mulky, an 800-year-old temple which is a symbol of communal harmony, saw the controversial banner in the temple vicinity.

The legend has it that Bappa Beary, a Muslim merchant, had a major contribution in the construction of the temple and Muslims get the first ‘prasadam’ during the jatra.

The temple authorities have distanced themselves from the banner but VHP leader Sharan Pumpwell said Hindu devotees should rethink on allowing Muslim vendors as jatra sees a business of more than Rs 1 crore.  



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp