Mangaluru: Even in these times of temple hopping and Hindutva politics, when Congress president, Rahul Gandhi chose to skip visiting the famous Udupi Krishna Math recently tongues were bound to wag. But it appears there may have been a good reason.
Although droves of devotees flock to the temples and maths of Dharwad and Udupi districts and are very religious, they seem to have their own mind where politics is concerned. Neither do the seers care to lay down the law and nor do the people care to listen to their diktats. The result? The maths here are less sought after by politicians.
"Maths here know that their 'voice,' is not strong enough (to have a say in the election). Also the maths here have never bothered to go into these things," says scholar and thinker, Lakshmisha Tolpadi.
Recalling that the maths in these parts have always been confined to religious and spiritual activities, and stayed away from politics, he says they are even today not very keen on getting involved.
Math sources too agree that they have never indulged in active politics."Maths of the region never gave a call to the community to support any candidate or party. Pejawar Math seer, Vishwesha Teertha Swamiji may be personally active in the VHP, but he too has never asked the community to vote for any particular party or candidate," notes a Udupi Math insider, adding, "People are religious here and follow all the religious practices.
They also respect the swamijis and maths, but, interestingly, they don't allow them dictate terms to them. Due to this the community is not politically strong and politicians don't give much importance to the religious institutions here.”