Nation Other News 13 Jan 2020 BJP mobilizes protes ...

BJP mobilizes protest against tallest statue of Jesus Christ in India

DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Jan 13, 2020, 9:37 pm IST
Updated Jan 14, 2020, 1:13 am IST
Thousands march to oppose erection of statue on hill in Ramanagara district
The BJP vowed it will never let the statue come up.
 The BJP vowed it will never let the statue come up.

Bengaluru: A move to erect one of the largest statues of Jesus Christ in India has triggered a protest by the BJP and several other right-wing organisations here on Monday.

The 114-ft statue – slightly shorter with a bigger base in the Jesus the Redeemer monolith in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – is to come up atop the Kapali Betta (Kapali Hill) in the Christian-dominated village of Harobele near Kanakapura in Ramanagara district. Construction stopped soon after it started last month after objections were raised by local Hindus who believe the hilltop is the abode of a Hindu deity.

 

In a rally organized by the Hindu Jagaran Vedike, thousands of protesters – wearing saffron scarves, bearing saffron flags, shouting ‘Jai Sri Ram’– marched from the Aiyappa Swamy temple to the local tahsildar’s office.

There were no untoward incidents with the police keeping a close watch.

The protesting groups allege the statue is being erected on a parcel of government land, and is sponsored by the local MLA and senior Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar.

Senior BJP leader and deputy chief minister Ashwathnarayan said 5000 people took part in the march. “The statue of Jesus can't be built legally. We will not allow it to come up," he said.

 

Protesters accused Shivakumar of trying to turn Kapali Betta into ‘Yesu Betta’.

Addressing the gathering, RSS leader Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat rhetorically asked Shivakumar, “What is your intention? You want to sell this country to foreigners once again. The Hindu community is warning you. This is an act of treason."

Reacting to the protests, the Archbishop of Bengaluru, Peter Macahdo said he has requested the government not to make it a political or emotional issue, “but be considerate to the needs and intentions of the Christian community."

 

The BJP is attempting to leverage the issue to gain a foothold in Vokkaliga-dominated South Karnataka and Old Mysuru region.

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Location: India, Karnataka, Bengaluru




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