Religions should guide and not misguide poor people: Seer

Pejawar seer flayed for his stand and views on Made snana

Terming ‘Made snana’ and ‘Pankthi bedha’ (caste discrimination while serving food) as shameful acts in a civilised society, Nidumamidi Mahasamsthana seer Veerabhadra Channamalla Swamiji has said that the practices have kept alive the tradition of varnashrama system and discrimination.

Speaking after flagging off padayatra from Mangalore to Udupi in protest against Made snana and Pankthi bedha, organised by the CPM, in front of Deputy Commissioner’s office on Monday, he said: “We need to stop all social evils practiced in the name of religion.

There is a need to preserve the essence of dharma, by putting an end to all such practices. On the one hand we call for a change in society and on the other we have been retaining this rotten tradition.

The leaders and the government, supporting such practices, should say whether they are for a change or superstition,” he added. ‘Made snana' involves rolling on plantain leaves with leftover of a meal consumed by Brahmins.

He asked: “Who else will roll on the leftovers of the Brahmins? It’s not Brahmins, nor any other higher castes but only those hailing from low class. People rolling on the plantain are prone to many diseases instead of getting cured from skin diseases. This is an attempt to suppress the lower class,” he added.

Flaying the Pejawar seer for his lack of action towards the causes that he speaks about, such as the emancipation of Dalits, Nidumamidi seer said that the Pejawar seer had termed Made snana as a practice started by Dravidians and continued by the Brahmins, in a discussion held at Bangalore last year. 

The Nidumamidi seer said that Dravidian culture did not propagate such evil system in society. Temples and religion were supposed to uphold the truth and teach pious and humanitarian values in humanbeings and not such practice. Religions should guide and not misguide the poor people. It should show the right path.

He said the modification of the ‘Made snana’ into ‘ede snana’ was done at the behest of
Vishwesha Theertha Swamiji of the Pejawar Mutt. In Ede Snana the food offered to the deity will be directly brought from the sanctum sanctorum of the temple to the outer yard in the form of ‘prasadam’ and it will be placed on the plantain leaves and the devotees can roll over it. “We consider food offered to deity as holy and accept it as prasadam. Is it right to roll over it,” he asked.

“Made snana is not only practiced at Kukke Subrahmanya temple but also in  12 other temples in the state. Pankthi bedha is practiced in 68 temples in the State. There is a need to ban the system in all the temples,” he said.

He called upon the organisers to hold a protest by including members of Malekudiyas, as they have been misguided by the upper caste.

He expressed confidence that the Supreme Court would ultimately rule in favour of a ban on it once all details were submitted to it. If the verdict was not in favour of ban, then the members of civil society should raise their voice against the ban in the form of a
movement across the State.

CPM Secretariat Member P Srinivas Rao said that caste discrimination is practiced in various forms even after 65 years of India’s independence. “Why  police are not recording discriminatory practices in the temples. Dalits are discriminated every where in society.”

Padayatra

Padayatra will be held from Mangalore to Udupi from Monday to Thursday. A two-wheeler jatha will be held from Baindur to Kundapura. Padayatra will be held from Kundapur to Udupi from December 25 to 27. A public rally will be held at Ajjarakadu and in front of Udupi Krishna Mutt on December 27.

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