Banning Muslim shops in the temple premises: BJP MLAs and MLCs have expressed dissatisfaction against their own government over the ban on participation of Muslim traders in Hindu temple festivals in some parts of Karnataka. Calling it wrong, undemocratic and madness, they said that all this is happening at the behest of pro-Hindu groups.
Significantly, the state has recently barred Muslim traders of some temples in Udupi and Shivamogga from participating in the festivals following the demand of some pro-Hindu groups like VHP, Hindu Jagran Vaidik, Bajrang Dal and Shri Ram Sena. Such demands have now started rising from other parts of the state as well.
At the same time, the BJP government of the state says that the ban on Muslim traders in temples was implemented in 2002 during the Congress government. The names of MLC AH Vishwanath and MLA Anil Benake are among those who raised their voice against their government.
Banning Muslim shops in the temple premises
Vishwanath said in his home district of Mysore, “This is madness. No god or religion teaches us this. The state government should intervene in this matter. I don’t know why the government is silent on this issue?” He further said, “This is madness. I don’t understand on what basis they are targeting Muslim vendors and businesses. This is a very sad situation. It is the reaction of the people that the government should act.”
Vishwanath was a minister in the previous Congress government. Earlier, he had also held the post of state president in JD(S). In 2019, he helped form the BJP government in the state.
Anil Benake, an MLA from the Muslim-dominated Belagavi North Assembly, has also opposed the ban on Muslim traders. Talking about it, he, “There is no question of banning during temple festivals. If people impose restrictions, we cannot do anything. However, we will not allow these kinds of things to happen. It is wrong to say that people should shop only in Hindu shops and not in other shops. Everyone has equal rights under the constitution. Anyone can trade anywhere and people have to decide where they want to buy, that’s all. We will not ban.”