Revisiting the 1969 resolution pledging for eradication of untouchability from the Hindu society, the Dharma Sansad in Udupi now resolves for resurgent and harmonious Bharat
Udupi: After almost 48 years when prominent saints, Shankaracharyas and Dharmacharyas from across the country pledged to eradicate untouchability from the Hindu society, holy city of Udupi witnessed another historic event on November 25, 2017 when the saints from different parts of the country called for making Bharat an untouchability-free nation. The call was made in the presence of over 3000 saints assembled at the 15th Dharma Sansad.
The Dharma Sansad at Udupi passed following four resolutions:
The first session on second day of the Dharma Sansad was presided over by Swami Vishveshwaranand of Mumbai. Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) working president Dr Pravin Togadia moved the resolution saying that untouchability is unacceptable in the Hindu society and it has no sanction of any scripture. He said the VHP is committed to abolition of untouchability and recalled that the campaign for social harmony started in 1969 from Udupi is bearing fruits. He reminded the gathering that the VHP honoured the 1969 resolution by having the foundation stone of Shri Ramjanmabhoomi Temple laid by a dalit worker Shri Kameshwar Choupal and also by feeding the saints at Dalit homes. Now through the ‘Hindu Mitra Parivar Yojana’ lakhs of Hindus are building lasting and cordial relations with all sections of the society. India will be great only if there is One temple, One well and One Crematorium for all and this mantra is reverberating throughout Bharat, he said.
If deities have no caste, why do devotees have?
Endorsing the resolution Shri Jitendranath Maharaj said it is right time to completely eradicate untouchability and have harmony in the society. The mantra of harmony is getting realised as the President of India and Prime Minister are living examples of such harmony. Everybody should get the right to study the Vedas and the scriptures. All saints of the country should pledge to eradicate the stigma of untouchability. This scourge will definitely end and Bharat will surely emerge as a superpower, he said adding that our deities don’t have any caste, then how can the devotees discriminate on the basis of the castes.
Spectacular ‘Hindu Vaibhav’
An elaborate exhibition titled ‘Hindu Vaibhav’ showcasing the rich cultural, art and traditional history of Bharat and its contribution to the Science, Mathematics and other aspects of life was the cynosure of the Dharma Sansad. Various attractive Rangolis welcomed the guests and were attraction in themselves.
Revasa Seer Pujya Swami Raghavacharya Maharaj stressed that discrimination emanated and became deep-rooted during the Mughal period. Buddhist saint Bhante Rahulbodhi also said that Dr Ambedkar tried to eradicate untouchability throughout his life. Dr Ambedkar’s dream of a caste-free society will be realised by following the values in our spiritual traditions. Pujya Harishankardasji from Rajasthan said untouchability is perversity of our society, which will definitely go away. Pujya Rameshdas Maharaj from Punjab, Pujya Phuldoldasji from Vrindavan and Pujya Sukhvendra Teerth Maharaj from Udupi also endorsed the resolution.
Pujya Mahant Lingashivacharyaji from Bengaluru said Veershaiva sect is not different from the Hinduism, it is part and parcel of the Hindu society and cannot be separated. Pujya Govindgiri Maharaj said when God is the creator of the whole world, then how can there be any discrimination. It is only devotion that can bind all of us together. With the grit and determination of our saints the dream of harmony will definitely be realised. Sant Ramsharandas from Himachal Pradesh, Sadhvi Pragya Bharati from Bhopal, Pujya Mahant Premdas Maharaj from Rajasthan, Pujya Gurupadanandji from Bengal also shared their views on the resolution.
Care for Every Participant
Elaborate arrangements made for food, accommodation and travel for all the saints and participants throughout 3-days drew immense appreciation from all. Food was provided by Udupi Matha for all the participants during 3 days. Jaggery water was made available for all the participants throughout the day to beat the heat. Water and cold drinks stalls were put up at various locations in Udupi town by volunteers for the welfare of the participants. An organisation of Muslim Youth had put up a stall to provide cold drinks for participants of Dharma Sansad. This act of harmony was well recognised and appreciated by one and all.
The Dharma Sansad began on November 24 with the deliberations aimed at social transformation. The main venue of the deliberations was Shri Narayan Guru Sabha Mandap located at Royal Garden Grounds. Public interactions were held at Chatrapati Shivaji Sabha Mandap near Udupi Shri Krishna Temple.
Resolution on Shri Ram Temple
The Dharm Sansad was officially declared open with lighting the ceremonial lamp by Pujya Vishveshwara Theertha Swamiji of Pejawar Math, Dr Veerendra Heggade of Dharmasthala, Swami Chidanandaji, RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri Mohan Bhagwat, Dr Pravin Togadia and other saints. The optimal rendition of Veda Mantras by girl students of a Gurukul during the opening ceremony gave a new meaning for emancipation of women in the Hindu society.
Presiding over the inaugural session Swami Vishveshwara Theertha declared that Shri Ram Temple in Ayodhya would be built by clearing all the obstacles. He reminded that every resolution passed at Dharma Sansads in Udupi has been fulfilled. In 1969, we resolved against untouchability and in 1985 we resolved to open the locks of Shri Ram Janmabhoomi. These two resolutions have fructified and likewise this third resolution to make Bharat untouchability-free too will be fulfilled. His declaration was welcomed by all the saints with chanting ‘Om’ and ‘Jai Shri Ram’. Describing untouchability as a poison, he urged that it has to be eradicated at the earliest. He also stressed that discrimination of Minority and Majority has to go and if required it has to be researched if the Constitution can be amended to bring about an end to this religious divide.
RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri Mohan Bhagwat said the Hindu society is marching towards victory and this is predetermined. Respect for Hindus is growing worldwide and bringing about harmony within us will be of paramount importance in this regard he opined. He declared that Temple, water and crematoriums have to be accessible to all without discrimination and this mantra is for the growth of Bharat. Gou Raksha is the resolve of the Hindu society and this task shouldn”t stop just because of a few unsavory incidents. With respect to Ram Temple he said only a temple will be built in Ayodhya, as designed with the same stones and under the guidance of those who have led the movement thus far. This dream of the Hindu society too will soon be fulfilled, he concluded.
Udupi turns Saffron
The entire temple town of Udupi was decked in saffron for the Shobha Yatra as part of the Virat Hindu Samajotsava. Thousands of people dressed in saffron marched through the streets of Udupi from Jodukatte to the venue of Dharma Sansad. The procession included tableaux depicting the country”s culture and tradition. Women outnumbered men in the procession. Women carrying more than 2000 flags was a sight to be hold. 2000 bhajan artists, beating the Chenda and blowing the nadaswara filled the air. Hundreds of bikers with Bhagwa Dhwaj rode as part of the Shoba Yatra.
In the same session, Dr Veerendra Heggade said the Hindu civilisation has been continuing since time immemorial despite many conspiracies, attacks and brutalities. In fact, the Hindu civilisation will thrive and no one can end it. Dr Pravin Togadia requested the saints not to tolerate acquisition of temples and maths by governments. VHP general secretary Shri Champat Rai, Shri Govind Dev Giriji Maharaj, Dr Paramanandji, Shri Nirmalananda Swamiji of Adichunchungiri Math and Pujya Chidanandaji of Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh, appealed to Hindus that the decisive phase of victory is fast approaching and this can be accomplished only if we are forthright and focused.
In second session on first day held under the chairmanship of Pujya Shivaswami, Swami Chinmayanand appealed for conducting public awareness programmes on Shri Ram Mandir and collectively pray for removing all obstacles that are stopping the construction of Shri Ram Mandir. Such mass awareness programmes have a lot of importance and can contribute immensely in this fast changing world, he opined. The strength of the nation increases due to such mass contact programmes and the present saffron wave across the country is a result of this. He resolved that the next Dharma Sansad will be held under the chairmanship of Bhagwan Ram Himself. All saints present at the venue accepted the resolution with a loud chant of ‘Jai Shri Ram’. In the same session, Dr Ramvilasdas Vedanti, Arunachalji Maharaj from Tamil Nadu, Swami Maheshwaranandji, Pooripoornanadji from Andhra Pradesh and other saints opined that mass awareness and contact programmes will result in reawakening of the Hindu society and Shri Ram Mandir will be a reality.
Strong Protest Against
Acquisition of Temples
On second day, Shri Gangadharendra Saraswati raised a voice against acquisition and demolition of temples. He said the control of temples should be under the Hindu society and not under the Governments. In Karnataka, there is a conspiracy for takeover of temples by making laws and it has strongly been protested by the saints. Upon the request of Hindu saints an autonomous board was set up for looking after the temples but it was abandoned and there was a new law, which was also abrogated by the judiciary. Despite this Karnataka government is trying to acquire temples, he said.
Shri Sangram Singh Maharaj from Telangana said it is not the work of government to run temples. Yogiraj Divyanand Maharaj from Haryana cautioned State Government against acquisition of temples and said this law should be repealed soon. Pujya Kalahastendranath from Karnataka also reiterated that Hindus should control temples and not the governments. Pujya Appaji Das Maharaj condemned the way Guruvayoor’s Parthasarathy Temple was forcefully acquired by Kerala Government. Pujya Kalahastendranath Swamiji drew attention towards demolition of the temples by quoting orders of the courts on various pretexts and this shows the malicious intentions of the governments. Sant Ramsharandas from Himachal, Sadhvi Pragya Bharati from Bhopal, Shri Mahant Premdasji Maharaj from Rajasthan, Gurupadanandji from Bengal shared their views on the resolution.
Virat Hindu Samajotsav
The Dharma Sansad culminated with huge Virat Hindu Samajotsava. The Samajotsav saw the august gathering of saints, dharmgurus and VHP leaders. VHP joint general secretary Dr Surendra Jain addressed the gathering and said Shri Ram temple construction would begin next year. He declared that construction of Shri Ram temple will begin on October 18, 2018 and the next Dharma Sansad will be held in Ayodhya.
Resolution on Gou Raksha
The proceedings of the final day were held under the chairmanship of Pujya Kamalanayan Dasji of Maniramdas Chhavani Ayodhya. Proposing the resolution on Gou Raksha, VHP vice president Shri Hukumchand Sanwala said the cow is Bharat’s identity, goddess of harmony and non-violence. The cow is also the backbone of our economy and environment too. In the land of Gopal (Krishna) cows are being slaughtered daily. Slaughter of horses is banned in England and those of pigs in Muslim countries, why then there is no ban on cow slaughter in our country, he questioned. Export of beef should be stopped and the Central Government should bring in a law to this effect.
Reading out the resolution Akhileshwar Das Maharaj of Gujarat said Karpatriji Maharaj had raised the issue of cow slaughter many years ago. Many saints of Gujarat came together and impressed upon the State Government to bring in a strong law against cow slaughter. In the same vein, this Dharm Sansad urges that the Parliament should pass a law against cow slaughter so that killing of cows is stopped and the culprits are punished. Supporting the resolution Namdhari Sant Sadguru Dileep Singh said that Hindus and Sikhs are brothers and not separate. Sikhism too preaches service to cow and downtrodden as part of its vows and many Namdhaari Sikhs have sacrificed for gou-raksha, he said.
Pujya Narayanji Maharaj from Vidarbha said the first culprit is the one who sells the cow and the second culprit is the one who slaughters it. Sant Ghadgeji Maharaj urged everyone to rear cows and said that gou-rakshaks should not be called as ‘goondas’. Pujya Jeevanmuktanand from Utkal said cattle were being smuggled to Bangladesh through Odisha. Pujya Amrutramji Maharaj from Jodhpur regretted that the
country which is supposed to give the message of gou-raksha to the world is allowing wanton slaughtering of gou mata. He urged every family to adopt a cow. Pujya Rameshwar Dasji Maharaj questioned that if currency notes can be banned overnight, why cant the cow be declared ‘Rashtra Mata’ immediately.
Stop Discrimination on Religious Grounds Shri Vishveshwara Teertha Swamiji proposed that facilities being granted to religious minorities should be granted to the people of majority community too. He said there should be no religious discrimination in the country. He regretted that it was due to such discrimination that many communities want to separate from Hinduism so that they can get government privileges and facilities. The proposal to end religious discrimination is also very beneficial for Dalits and other backward communities too. Swami Narendrananda urged for a Uniform Civil Code. Pujya Kevalyanandji Maharaj from Hubli, Pujya Kamdagiriji Maharaj from Chitrakoot, Pujya Nirgunanandji Maharaj from Bengal and other saints also addressed.