Hindu activists oppose Quran recitation at K’taka religious fair

Hassan (Karnataka): Ahead of the Assembly polls in Karnataka, Hindu activists have opposed the ritual of reciting the Quran during the historical Chennakeshava Rathotsava in Beluru town of Hassan district.

Hindu organisations have demanded that the ritual should not be observed as it is against the religion.

They have called for a bandh on Tuesday in this regard.

The historical religious fair is scheduled to be held on April 4 and the district administration is concerned with the developments taking a communal turn at the time of elections.

The architecture of the 12th century Beluru Chennakeshava temple is considered to be a marvel. It was built over three generations and took 103 years to complete.

The temple is expected to get a Unesco heritage tag.

Despite opposition from Hindu activists, the Quran recital tradition was carried out during the religious fair last year.

The activists have claimed that the ritual of Quran recital was forcefully added in 1932.

Dr Ramesh, a doctor and author, has released a book in this regard and explained how it is unnecessary to carry out a Quran recital before the Hindu god Sri Channakeshava.

The Hindu activists are questioning if it is possible to recite Hindu prayers at mosques and dargahs. They claim that the ritual was forced upon Hindus as a part of appeasement politics.

The ‘Rathotsav’ ceremony is performed for two days, which is a rare phenomenon in the state.

The idol of Channakeshava will be embellished with gold and diamond jewels gifted by the erstwhile Kings of the Mysuru kingdom.

Lakhs of devotees gather during the temple fair.

Last year, the administrator of the temple had written a letter to the Muzrai department seeking clarification over the continuation of the ritual which has been carried over for years and symbolic of Hindu-Muslim unity.

Rohini Sindhuri, who was the Commissioner of Muzrai Department had given green signal for the continuation of the ritual.

She had stated that according to Section 58 of the Hindu Religious Act 2002, there should not be any interference in the rituals and traditions of the temple.

After the direction, the temple committee decided to carry out the ritual recital of verses from the Quran .

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