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Religious head’s statement receives flak all round

Published : Apr 12, 2016, 2:16 am IST
Updated : Apr 12, 2016, 2:16 am IST

The Dwarka Peeth Shankaracharya’s statement that “rapes would increase as women enter the Shani Temple” has met with strong reactions from the Bhumata Brigade, Hindu scholars and temple trustees.

The Dwarka Peeth Shankaracharya’s statement that “rapes would increase as women enter the Shani Temple” has met with strong reactions from the Bhumata Brigade, Hindu scholars and temple trustees.

Bhumata Brigade president, Trupti Desai, told The Asian Age that they greatly respected the Shankaracharya. However, she warned, “He has made this statement due to his old age. ‘Entering temples’ and ‘rapes’ are separate issues and cannot be clubbed together. The Shankaracharya has insulted women and we request him to apologise within two days or we will file a case against him.”

Revered scholar, mahant and former president of the Akhil Bharatiya Akhada Parishad (ABAP), Shri Sagaranandji Sarasvati Maharaj, said that the Shankaracharya was a great man and by comparison, he was a small sadhu. “The Shankarcharya holds a very responsible position and should speak responsibly and positively because he is speaking in public. It is wrong to say that rapes will increase because women take darshan. I and even he were born of women. They are mothers,” he said.

Mahant Sagaranandji countered the charge that there was drought in Maharashtra due to devotion to Shri Sai Baba and said, “If he does not believe Sai Baba to be divine, why is he attributing the drought to him. This means Sai Baba has some power.”

Mahant Sudhirdasji of Kalaram Mandir said that the Shankarcharya was “Adarniya” or revered and should not make such statements in public. “If there are any technicalities involved due to women getting darshan, one should refrain from speaking publicly,” he said.

Yogesh Bankar, trustee of Shani Shingnapur Devasthan Trust, said as a layman, he could not comment on the statement.

“We are temple trustees but are not trained in religious scriptures,” he said.