Belur temple allows non Hindus to setup stalls in temple fair

The Taluk administration of the Hasan district paved way for 15 non Hindus to set up their stalls during the two-day annual temple car festival in the historic Chennakeshava temple in Belur starting on Wednesday.

The temple will also have verses from the Quran chanted before the chariot leaves, as per the traditions of the temple.

This comes after on April 7, a 72-year-old Muslim woman shop owner was forced to shut down her shop at the complex in the temple.

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Sujay Kumar, chief executive officer of the Belur taluk municipal council, said there is no rule or law to stop non-Hindu vendors from carrying out business during temple fairs, the Times of India reported.

The officer said they held bidding through the e-procurement route nearly a month ago. “Anyone can set up a stall by paying the prescribed fee,” he added.

Belur temple executive officer Vidyulatha told TOI: “The muzrai commissioner’s office has directed that no officer, person or organisation is allowed to interfere in any tradition, ritual or custom under Section 58 of Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments Act, 2002. Hence, the chanting of Quran verses will be conducted as mentioned in the Belur temple manual before pulling the chariot on the day of Brahma Rathotsava.”

Since the Hijab row started in January this year, Karnataka has been witnessing instances of blatant Islamophobia non-stop. The state is now being called ‘the Uttar Pradesh of south India’ after rising cases of anti-Muslim Hindutva aggression are being reported on an almost every-day basis from different districts of the state.

On March 24, Hindutva forces installed banners that read Muslim traders were not allowed to do business at the annual fair of Bappanaadu Durgaparameshwari Temple near Mangaluru district in Karnataka.

From the Hijab ban to the various other direct and indirect attacks on minority communities, the last few months show that there is now an aggressive and hateful mob hell-bent on making daily life difficult for Muslims in Karnataka. 

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