Now, demand for another idol at BU campus

The idol row at Bangalore University (BU) has taken a new turn with a farmers’ group demanding the statue of rural activist, M D Nanjundaswamy, on the Jnanabharathi campus. 

The Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha on Wednesday submitted a memorandum to Vice-Chancellor, K R Venugopal, demanding that the university instal the statue of Nanjundaswamy along with the idols of Saraswati and Buddha. 

According to the Sangha, installing Nanjundaswamy’s statue would spur student interest in agriculture and the problems faced by farmers. The vice-chancellor said he would place the matter before the university syndicate as he didn’t have the authority to decide on it. “Let the syndicate decide,” he added. 

The idol row at the university erupted on May 6 when a group of students and teachers tried to instal an idol of Buddha in the administrative block where a Saraswati statue had been placed for many years and was removed for renovation. The row drew protests from other students, and police had to be called. 

Two days later, in a please-all move, the university decided to instal both the statues next to each other. But instead of putting an end to the controversy, the decision only opened the floodgates. 

Over the past few days ago, minorities, other backward classes and other groups submitted representations to the chief minister and the Higher Education Department, demanding the idols of social reformers such as Basaveshwara, Kanakadasa, Kempegowda, Mahatma Gandhi and Santa Shishunala Sharif, adjacent to the statues of Buddha and Saraswati.

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