Sarawsati idol back in its place at BU

Sarawsati idol back in its place at BU

Ideal spot

The idol was reinstalled around 5.50 am with the vice chancellor, registrar, finance officer and other senior faculty and non-teaching staff in attendance.

The Saraswati idol that sparked a row after it’s removal from the Bangalore University’s Jnana Bharati campus was installed in it’s original place early Monday morning, with a facelift.

This time, the university ensured tight police security while reinstalling the idol in the administrative block. The vice chancellor had issued a circular, well in advance, requesting all staff to be present at the venue.

“To avoid confusion and other disturbances, we issued a circular on Thursday inviting interested staff and students for the installation of the Saraswati idol,” said vice chancellor professor K R Venugopal.

The idol was reinstalled around 5.50 am with the vice chancellor, registrar, finance officer and other senior faculty and non-teaching staff in attendance. The expenses for the new idol was borne by the vice chancellor -- around Rs 7.5 lakh.

Meanwhile, a few senior faculty members raised objection for seeking police protection for the event. Professor B C Mylarappa, who was allegedly involved in the idol row of May 2019, said: “No one was against the installation of the Saraswati idol. But, why this police security? By inviting the police to the campus, the university is sending a wrong message to the students and society.”

During the first week of May, controversy erupted at the Jnana Bharati campus, when a Buddha statue appeared where a Saraswati idol used to be. The Saraswati was removed temporarily for renovation as it was damaged.

Allegedly, a group of students with the support of a few teachers tried to install the Buddha. This kicked up the row which later reached the Raj Bhavan and a detailed report was sought from the city police commissioner.

Further on, as the group that installed the Buddha refused to remove it, the university assured installing both Saraswati and the Buddha side by side. With the state government’s intervention, it was decided to retain only the Saraswati, which dates back to 1973.

Following the row, the Karnataka State Higher Education Council adopted a decision in the general council meeting that there is no room for idols or statues at universities and higher education institutions in the state. The then higher education minister G T Devegowda announced the decision and directed all university heads not to disturb existing idols and not to install any new idols or statues within campuses.

What about Buddha?

The Buddha has been allotted space at the proposed Buddha Dhyana Kendra. The foundation stone for the same will be laid on December 31. The university is planning to invite the PM for the event.