Days after the Dalit rally ‘Chalo Udupi’ rally concluded, Sangh parivar-affiliated youth group Yuva Brigade carried out a shudhikalasham (purification) ceremony in the surroundings of the Sree Krishna temple in Udupi alleging it was rendered ‘impure’ due to the presence of Dalits, the Indian Express reported citing Dool News.
Photographs accompanying the Dool News report showed seer Vishwesha Teertha, who conducted the ceremony, cleaning the area with a broom and leading a protest despite instructions from the district administration not to, the Indian Express report added.
Ramachandrapur Mutt seer Raghaveshwara Bharati had voiced discontent at the Dalit event being held in Udupi, saying that these organisations should focus on constructive activities and not target a senior monk such as Pejawar seer Vishwesha Teertha, reported the Hindu.
Teertha had questioned the motives of the campaign as well, according to a report in the Times of India. Various Dalit organisations organised the Chalo Udupi rally from October 4 to October 9. The rally, which started at the Freedom Park in Bangalore, concluded a week later at Udupi. According to a report in the Hindu, members from 166 progressive organisations from Karnataka were expected to participate in the rally.
Gujarat-based lawyer Jignesh Mevani, who led ‘Chalo Una’, (on which Chalo Udupi is modelled), lent his support to the event and addressed the gathering at Udupi. Chalo Una and Chalo Udupi’s demands were the same – right to a minimum of five acres of land for Dalit families, to eat food they choose to eat and to bring those who have committed crimes against Dalits, Adivasis and minorities to book.