Karnataka temple official asks Christian man playing cricket at premises to leave

Karnataka temple official asks Christian man playing cricket at premises to leave

Praveen, the committee member of a temple in Sullia in Dakshina Kannada district, asked a Christian man to leave the temple ground.

Temple official arguing with men

In another communal incident in Karnataka’s Dakshina Kannada district, a young man was stopped from playing cricket in the grounds of a temple in Sullia by a temple official on the account that he was a Christian. A video of the interaction between the temple official and the group of young men was shared widely on social media but there has been no police complaint over the issue.

The incident occurred on Saturday in the premises of a temple of the Koragajja deity in Jayanagar in Sullia taluk. The temple committee member Praveen objected to an interfaith group of friends playing cricket in the ground and asked one of the men, who was Christian, to leave the premises.

In the video, Praveen is seen arguing with a group of men who play cricket in the temple ground. “If we have to fight, I am ready. I have called the MLA and I won’t fear anybody. Isn’t he an SC? He is here playing. But you are playing with people who are not Hindu. Why are you playing here?,” asked Praveen pointing his finger at one of the men. “We don’t go near Muslims and we don’t go near Christians. There is a ground in front of the church. Can’t he go and play there?,” Praveen is heard asking.

Pruthvi, one of the men playing cricket on the ground at the temple, says he has seen interfaith groups playing in the ground for more than five years. Even though the temple committee was formed last year, there were no objections raised until last week. The group was not allowed to play in the ground on Saturday so they decided to ask the temple committee about it.

“We asked the temple committee person asking why we were not allowed to play in the ground. I have been playing cricket there for more than five years. But now, they have made an issue of people of other religion playing there and asked the Christian man to leave the area,” Pruthvi says.

“All of us who play there were opposed to the temple official. For years, people of all religion have been playing here and we do not see the issue in it,” says Pruthvi.

Speaking to TNM, Praveen said, “It is true I asked him to leave and play in the church. He can come and pray at the temple but he has no right to question the temple committee. We will not allow people of other faiths to play here.”

Sullia police inspector Naveen Chandra Jogi said that there was no police complaint raised over the issue. He added that members of the public had sent him the video that has been shared widely. A police official told TNM that since the temple premise is a private space, they will seek legal advise if a complaint is filed. The incident comes at a time when communal incidents are on the rise in Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka. According to activist Suresh Bhat Bakrabail of the  Karnataka Communal Harmony Forum, there have been 51 communal incidents in the district till June 30 this year including 14 incidents of moral policing by Hindu vigilantes.

Majoritarian hate in any country starts with affecting just the target communities, but eventually it subsumes all citizens and turns into a snowball which destroys the lives of people from across communities. And often, when the hate lands at our door, it is too late.

It is eternal vigilance and mutual empathy which enable us to protect each other from those who stoke communal tensions to gain or retain political power. At The News Minute, with our continuous reporting on how minority communities are targeted by majoritarian groups or those in power, we want to enable you to stay informed, remain rooted to reality, look out for each other, and protect ourselves and the nation from divisive forces.

In the last couple of weeks, two stories from TNM have helped us further expose Islamophobia. Prajwal Bhat reported from Mangaluru on how Hindutva vigilantes have a network of informers and spies to attack youngsters who hold friendships across religious divides. This affects both Hindus and Muslim students, while it is the Muslim students who face more physical violence. You can read the story here.

In another story, TNM’s Editor-in-chief Dhanya Rajendran spoke to the 16 Muslims who were fired from their low-paying contract jobs at the Bengaluru city corporation’s COVID War Room, because they were wrongly accused by Bengaluru South MP of the BJP, Tejasvi Surya. Many of them barely in their twenties already feel defeated by the Islamophobia they have been subject to, and are struggling without jobs and facing bleak career prospects.

These stories need to be told, and they are not easy to tell. We work hard to bring you those stories in a digital media market which is not profitable and extremely tough to operate in.


source : https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/karnataka-temple-official-asks-christian-man-playing-cricket-premises-leave-152329

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