Education Minister’s promise on changing name of Bababudangiri shrine in textbook condemned

IMG HAGTS 21 12 2015 16 2 1 4KA5V0BG

Karnataka Komu Souharda Vedike has opposed Minister for School Education and Literacy B.C. Nagesh’s statement earlier in the week assuring the Legislative Council that the word ‘Bababudangiri’ would be replaced in school textbooks with ‘Datta Peetha’ in a lesson on the syncretic shrine in Chikkamagaluru.

K.L. Ashok, convener of the forum for communal harmony, in a statement, said the Minister’s statement was “incorrect” considering the historical records pertaining to the place. “We have enough documents, including government records, to show that the place is ‘Sri Guru Dattatreya Bababudan Swamy Dargah’. The Minister has given such a statement without going through the records. This is unconstitutional and against the records available,” he said.

The historical records show that erstwhile Mysuru rulers had given three villages — Sarvamanya Suruguppe, Nagenahalli alias Jannat Nagar and Inam Dattatreya Peetha — as gifts (Inam) for the maintenance of Bababudan Dargah. Hence ‘Inam Dattatreya Peetha’ is the name of a village, not the shrine venerated by both Hindus and Muslims alike, he contended.

M.K. Pranesh, BJP member, had said in the Legislative Council earlier this week that the holy shrine had been “wrongly” referred to as ‘Bababudangiri’. It should be replaced with ‘Datta Peetha’, he had urged the Minister. In response, the Minister responded to the demand in the affirmative.