The VHP leaders also want a ban on the supply of fruits and other materials to the temples by non-Hindus. (Representational image: vhp.org)
Mangaluru: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has demanded the Karnataka government not to allow non-Hindus open stalls during the temple festivals.
Temporary stalls near the temple are auctioned during the festival celebrations. Many Muslim traders participate in the auction and open stalls near the temple.
The saffron outfits has been opposing this. The most recent one was at Kaup in the Udupi district. The VHP has decided to approach the government seeking a ban on non-Hindus from participating in the auction.
"This is not a new development. We have always opposed non-Hindus participating in the auction of stalls near the temple during festivals. Only Hindus should be allowed participate in the auction. We will approach the Endowment department and seek immediate intervention in this regard," VHP Divisional Secretary Sharan Pumpwell told Deccan Chronicle.
The VHP leaders also want a ban on the supply of fruits and other materials to the temples by non-Hindus.
"There are few temples where non-Hindus get the tender to supply vegetables, fruits, and flowers. We strongly oppose this. They should not be allowed to participate during the tender process. The Endowment Act is very clear. It gives freedom for the Temple Committee to decide on auctioning. The Act is clear about protecting the interest of Hindus in Hindu religious institutions. No shops near the temple can be given to non-Hindus. So there is no room for any confusion," he added.
Progressive thinkers have strongly criticized the move.
"This is part of the polarization attempts by Hindutva outfits," says progressive thinker Suresh Bhat. He is the former district president of Komu Sauhardha Vedike.
"The agenda of the Hindutva outfits is to portray the minorities as second-class citizens. Demand on banning non-Hindus from participating auction for temple festival stalls is a move towards it," he said.