UDUPI : Sri Vishwesha Theertha Swamiji of Pejawar Mutt has said that the Dalit
leaders have misinterpreted his statement on the conversion of Dalits into Buddhism. In a
press communiqu?, the Pejawar seer has said he was surprised over the protests staged by
Dalit organizations against him. ?As per the Constitution, every individual has the right
to embrace any religion of his choice. Accordingly, even Dalits have the right to embrace
Buddhism,? the seer said.
Continuing, he said ? I do not question this right of theirs. But, every individiaul has the
right to give some suggestions to others. I have only advised the Dalits. It is left for
them to either accept or reject it. There is nothing unconstitutional in my statement, I
have only told the truth which is in the interests of the Dalit community.?
? The Dalits in every colony I have visited, worship Hindu Gods and Goddesses and
there is no doubt that they are Hindus. What is wrong in giving them a special Bhakti
Deekshe of Hindu Dharma ?,? the seer has questioned adding this would be conducive to
eradication of untouchability.
He further said ? I have not told anywhere that caste is the soul of Hindu Dharma. By
realizing the fact that in the present social and political scenario, the caste system cannot
be eradicated, let us unitedly strive to eradicate untouchability and bring about social
equality.? Continuing he said, ?Let us not delay the task of eradication of untouchability
by linking untouchability eradication and caste system eradication. This would not solve
the problem, Instead let us lay due emphasis to eradication of untouchability and work
towards that direction.?
The seer has also requested the Dalits to understand his concerted efforts towards
eradication of untouchability and co-operate in his endeavor.