Vantage point

Friday, June 13, 2003


I have always been against religious leaders poking their heads into political affairs. Ever since Advani took out his ratha-yatra, the Ayodhya issue has become more of a political issue than a religious one.

Which is why I get irked when this dude makes statements like these - Ayodhya solution in two-three months: Kanchi seer. I also don't like it when the media gives him too much publicity.

In fact our media has this penchant for giving religious leaders more coverage than they deserve....especially the wrong kind. Imam Bukhari of the Jama Masjid in Delhi will make idiotic statements which the media will be prompt to splash on the front page making it seem as if he is the caliph or the Agakhan of Indian muslims. Many muslims send letters to the newspapers begging them not to publicise Bukhari as the "head of Indian muslims".....but the media seems more concerned about a spicy byline. They ignore that he is but the imam of "one" mosque in Delhi and can in no way be considered the spokesperson of India's 150 million string Muslim community.

Anyway, coming back to Jayendra Saraswati. I also dispute the use of the term 'Shankaracharya' with his name. He seems to be the only publicity hungry religious leader, so the media gives him the limelight making him out to be one of the heads of the Hindu community(!!). Now I am no religious fanatic, but I do know that Adi Shankaracharya established 4 "peeth"s in the country about 1500 years ago. They the best of my recollection........Shringeri(S), Badrinath(N), Dwarka(W) and Puri(E)......the peeth at Kanchi was not one of them and is not even considered a peeth by many. Why we should accept its head as a 'shankaracharya' is beyond me.

So even if a hierarchy of Hindu priests is drawn out, this guy would not be in the top 4. So where does he get off......?