source: Udayavani, July 3, 2007
Bangalore, July 3: Udupi-based Pejawar Mutt head and a prominent Hindu seer Vishweshwa Thirtha Swamiji on Monday expressed concern over “religious conversion from Hinduism” in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
Speaking to reporters here, the seer said conversion related activities were more now than even during the British rule but added that there were both economic and social reasons for conversion, apart from inducements.
He said Dalits and backward classes were neglected but, at the same time, attempts were being made to overcome the weaknesses in the Hindu society. “Untouchability is still
being practised but it will not disappear in one go.”
The swamiji said “left wing intellectuals” were also subjecting Hinduism to attacks by their negative portrayal of certain issues which acted as an “instigation”.
He welcomed a recent ordinance issued by the Andhra Pradesh government to protect Tirupati as the Hindu piligrim centre “so as not to give any room” for activities for
conversion of Hindus to Christianity.
The seer, who spearheaded the agitation to stop alleged conversion activities in Tirupati, said the local people had been told to be alert and inform the officials in case any attempts were made for conversion.
He also announced that a trust floated by the Udupi-based Pejawar mutt would start students hostels where 33 per cent would be earmarked for Dalits, 33 per cent for backward classes and the rest for others. The first such hostel would be opened in Udupi to be followed by Mysore and Mangalore.
Free food and accommodation would be provided at the hostels for which government had also promised help.