Pejawar seer for elimination of untouchability to stop forcible conversion

'Dalits and other backward classes should be brought to mainstream'

Pejawar seer for elimination of untouchability to stop forcible conversion

Pejawar mutt seer Sri Vishwesha Theertha Swami is all set to ascend the Paryaya Peetha for the record fifth time on January 18.

The countdown for the biannual has already started. In this backdrop, the seer shared his views on various issues, future plans, traditions and practices in the mutt and his love towards Dalits in an exclusive interview with Deccan Herald. The excerpts of the interview:

Deccan Herald: Your stance and feelings at this momentous occasion…  
Vishwesha Theertha Swami: I am happy that I have been blessed with the gift to serve Lord Krishna for the fifth time. Pressure from my junior seer made me accept the idea of ascending the Paryaya Peetha for the fifth time. I was of the opinion that it is better if he takes up the charge of the temple administration for two years. But he compelled me to accept the Peetha. Performing four Pary-ayas itself ensures the completeness of being a Sanyasi.

Would you introduce ‘Ede Snana’ replacing ‘Made Snana’ during your term?
‘Ede Snana’ would be held, but there would be no place for ‘Made Snana’.

What are your views on untouchability, forcible conversion, Dalits and their love for Buddhism? 
Untouchability is the main evil that has increased the forcible conversion. Dalits and other backward classes should be brought to the mainstream of the society. Untouchability should be eliminated to stop forcible conversion. Dalits will have a red carpet welcome in the (Krishna) temple and also will be treated at par with any other devotees.
They will also dine with all other caste people inside the temple. The two-year term would witness revolutionary attempts to bring Dalits to the mainstream of Hinduism. Dalits would also be invited for Paryaya celebrations. Buddhism is part and parcel of Hinduism.
If Dalits want to accept Buddhism, there is no harm. But the people, who have worshiped idols and have followed the concept of God, will find it hard to accept Buddhism as there is no concept of God in Buddhism.

Would you oppose the extension of UPCL?
A mass movement is needed to protest against the expansion of UPCL’s second phase project. The extension should be done ensuring zero environment pollution. Adani was told about the pollution the plant has created, during his visit to the temple. The water and air pollution should be stopped. I would not be able to lead the protest. But I will support the agitation. But I am supposed be within the premises of Krishna mutt and the Car Street during my two-year Paryaya term.

How would you bring along the minorities in your walk towards discrimination less society?
Eid celebrations would be held in the temple and all attempts would be made to  create harmony among the religions. Minorities are also a part of Paryaya celebrations. There is no truth behind the so called intellectuals’ claim that Pejawar seer is anti-Muslim. Muslim and other minorities should be treated equally and they should get all the rights mentioned in the Constitution.

What is your opinion on Yettinahole project?
There should be an open debate on Yettinahole project, including the experts. The government should take the affected into confidence and also convince them about the feasibilities before executing the project.

The problems that require urgent attention...
The atrocities against wom-en and Dalits should be curbed. The women are victimised. There should be protection for women  and also there should be harmony among religions and castes.

Your opinion on reservation...
The time has not come to stop reservation and instead, the reservation should be extended to the most backward classes.

Your opinion on government’s decision to ban astrology predictions on media channels…
It is better to ban the astrology predictions being aired on media channels. They mislead the people. There should be restraints as the human and animal sacrifice and Devadasi system are still in prevalent owing to the fake astrologers.

Banning cow slaughter…
Cow slaughter should be banned and livestock resources in the country should be protected.

Any plans to invite Puttige seer to (Paryaya) Durbar…
There is a dilemma over inviting him to the Durbar owing to the fear that other seers might go to the extent of boycotting the Durbar. But, Puttige seer is a part of Ashta mutts and he would be given all the due respect. I do agree that there are a lot of internal differences among the seers of Astha mutts. I would not discuss it in the media. It is an internal issue and would be sorted out within ourselves.

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