Billava-Muslim meeting stokes controversy

Billava-Muslim meeting stokes controversy

An inter-religious meet, ‘Billava-Muslim Cordial Meeting’, stoked controversy with a few leaders from Billava community deciding to stay away from the event.

The event, organised by Udupi District Muslim Federation and like-minded Billava organisations, was scheduled to be held at Town Hall on January 11.

Yasin Malpe, president of Udupi District Muslim Federation, said the federation had taken the initiative of organising the cordial meetings with 10 Hindu communities.

“Thus ‘Billava-Muslim Cordial Meeting’ was planned on these lines on January 11,” he said and added that such meetings to build good relationship with Hindus would be held with all castes in Hindu religion.

The chief convener of the event, Janardhan Tonse, who has associated himself with the Congress, declared that the event was being organised to better the relation between Muslims and Billavas.

However, leaders from the Billava community, who have identified themselves with BJP, have clarified that they would not attend the event.

Dakshina Kannada District In-charge Minister Kota Srinivas Poojary has reportedly said that he would not inaugurate the event.

Billava community leader Achutha Ameen Kalmady declared that this was a game plan to divide the Hindu society and the event should be canceled.

“If the event is not canceled, the term Billava should be removed. The culture and tradition of Billavas and Muslims are different. So there is no point in organising Billava-Muslim Cordial Meeting,” he declared.

Former MLA of Kaup Vinay Kumar Sorake will preside over the programme on January 11. Senior Journalists Dinesh Ameen Mattu and Abdussalam Puthige will be the keynote speakers.

Meanwhile, a few leaders from Billava community had begun to take the organisers to task over the phone.

The conversation between Janardhan Tonse and another individual from Billava community, where the former claimed that there was no political agenda behind the programme, went viral on social media on Tuesday.

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