Monday, Dec 22, 2003
Front Page |
Southern States |
Other States |
Advts: Classifieds | Employment | Obituary |
By Our Staff Correspondent
Mr. Advani was speaking after inaugurating the 1044th jayanthi celebrations of Adi Jagadguru Sri Shivarathri Bhagavadpada organised by the Suttur Math.
He said religion should not be seen only in the context of conflicts and tensions, but viewed as the strength of the country. It would also be a disservice to society if in the garb of secularism, religion was seen as taboo and undesirable, he added.
Stating that all religions should be respected, he said: "There is no service to the nation if one is narrow minded, a bigot, or a fundamentalist when it came for religion".
Referring to the ostracism of the astronomer, Galileo, by people who ruled his country, Mr. Advani said intolerance to the other point of view was more in the West than in India.
Giving the example of Charvaka, who propounded materialism, the Deputy Prime Minister said that in India even an atheist was respected.
"Unlike Galileo, Charvaka was not ostracised though his views were not accepted by society. However, those who mattered in society at that point of time considered Charvaka's thoughts as original and elevated him, and he came to be known as Sage Charvaka," Mr. Advani said.
"If we can respect a person who propounded materialism and became a symbol of atheism, what is so difficult about accepting differences in politics, economics, and law?", he asked.
On the success of Indian democracy, he said it was due to tolerance for the other point of view.
Giving another example of how in the name of secularism, spiritual aspects were ignored, Mr. Advani said the Bhakti Sangeeth beamed on Akashvani faced the threat of being taken off air when a delegation of MPs petitioned the President against it. However, the then President, S. Radhakrishnan, did not heed to the request of these MPs, he added.
Highlighting the contribution of religious institutions such as Suttur Math, Mr. Advani said that perhaps it was only in Karnataka or the South that one found organisations of such stature. He also spoke about the contribution of Basavanna to society. "It is common to participate in functions organised to mark the silver jubilee or golden jubilee of an institution. But not many institutions can boast of celebrations to mark the 1044th jayanthi of Adi Jagadguru," he said.
To commemorate the jayanthi, books on spirituality were released.
While "Vishwa Dharma Darshana" was released by Mr. Advani, the "Veerashaiva Dharma Darshana" by the Minister for Cooperation, H. Vishwanath, and "Mysore Darshana" was released by the President of the State unit of the BJP, H.N. Ananth Kumar.
Besides, the pontiff of Suttur Math, Shivarathri Deshikendra Swamiji, the Minister of State for Railways, Basanagouda R. Patil Yatnal, the AIPJD President, S.R. Bommai, the BJP leaders, B.S. Yediyurappa and Jagadish Shettar, and the Mayor, Modamani, were present.
Sushma cancels visit
The Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Sushma Swaraj, who was scheduled to participate in the inaugural function of the 51st Swasthya Mela here, cancelled her visit.
Mr. Advani told the gathering at the function that Ms. Swaraj had to return to New Delhi from Bangalore on Saturday night as a Constitution Amendment Bill was being tabled in Parliament. Ms. Swaraj also held the portfolio of Parliamentary Affairs.
However, speculation was rife that Ms. Swaraj had to rush to Delhi in view of the DMK withdrawing its Ministers from the NDA Government. Her departure to Delhi was attributed to the need for drumming up support for the crucial Bill in Parliament.
The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | Home |
Copyright © 2003, The
Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of
this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of