Bangalore University to retain Buddha, Saraswati idols

Bangalore University to retain Buddha, Saraswati idols

A new Saraswati idol (middle) was slated to replace an old one (left). But a Buddha idol now stands in its place.

Update: In the latest development to idol row,  Bangalore University has decided to retain both Gautham Buddha and Goddess Saraswathi idol at the varsity premises. The syndicate meeting chaired by Vice Chancellor Venugopal KR on Monday formed the sub-committee under the chairmanship of syndicate member Shivanna to designate a suitable place for Buddha idol.

The sub-committee will be chairing the meeting today to decide on the suitable place to shift the Buddha idol in the university premises.

No change in place designated for Saraswathi idol

Bangalore University Vice Chancellor Venugopal KR on Tuesday confirmed that there is no change in place designated for Goddess Saraswathi idol.  He was speaking to press after the meeting of sub-committee chaired to decide on another place for Gautham Buddha idol.

Venugopal said, "In the sub-committee meeting chaired on Monday evening, we have decided not to change the place designated for Saraswathi idol. New idol will be installed at the same place where the old idol was installed when the varsity was formed. The committee will look into an alternate place to keep the Buddha idol." 

Bangalore University on Monday found itself in an idol controversy after a few research scholars installed a Gautam Buddha idol in place of an old Saraswati idol at the entrance of the administrative block in Jnanabharathi campus.

The old Saraswati was awaiting replacement with a new one. The new idol had reached the campus a few days back and the administration had intended to install it by Friday.

But in a surprising turn of events on Monday morning, a few research scholars along with a few university staff brought an idol of Buddha in a procession and installed it in the same place where a new Saraswati idol was supposed to be installed. Irked by the provocation, several students and staff took out a protest and urged the management to get the idol removed.

“The Saraswati idol here was installed in 1973 by then Vice-Chancellor H Narasimhaiah,” said a protestor. “Since the old idol was damaged a few years back, the present Vice-Chancellor wanted to replace it with a new one. He has spent his own money for the cause.”

The protestor said he didn’t have any objection for installing the Buddha idol, but wondered why it had to be installed at that particular place. 

Following the installation, protestors requested Vice Chancellor Venugopal KR to intervene and get the idol removed. They also sat on a silent protest in front of Buddha idol. After a few minutes, people who had installed the statue turned up at the administration block and there was a heated exchange of words between both the parties following which police personnel were called in. 

The protestors who installed the Buddha idol were not available for comment.