‘The pontiff’s activities opened our eyes to reality’

Pradeep Kumar Kalkura, president of the Dakshina Kannada District Kannada Sahitya Parishat, had a close affinity with Pejawar seer Vishwesha Theertha Swami for three decades.

The seer would also stay at Kalkura’s house during his visits to Mangaluru.

“I had even met Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti on behalf of the seer while inviting them to various programmes at the Mutt. It was altogether a different experience to be an ambassador of the seer,” said Kalkura.

“To celebrate the 60th year of the seer’s Peetharohana, we had organised a Samajotsava in Mangaluru, after which, the seer used to fondly call me ‘Gaurava Karyadarshi’ (honorary secretary).”

“The seer’s ‘Dalitara Kerige Nadige, a padayatra in the Maoist-affected areas, had surprised us. But all these activities opened our eyes to reality as they were aimed at binding the society,” opined Kalkura.

Speaking further, he said, “When there was a row over Kanakadasa and Udupi, the seer announced a ‘Rashtriya Kanaka Jayanti’. The programme was led by K S Eshwarappa and H Vishwanath, and Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi attended. The seer had even seen that a Kanaka Mantapa was built.”

When a massive earthquake shook Gujarat, the seer was fighting slight health complications and was worried that he could not visit Gujarat.

A decade ago, on hearing that curfew had been imposed in Mangaluru, the seer had visited the city immediately. He visited the family of a Muslim, who had died in the riot.

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