New Delhi, December, 3 : A controversy is brewing, over the selection of Pejawar seer Sri Vishveshatirtha Swamiji, for a honorary doctorate by Tumkur University. A few Dalit orgnisations have threatened to stage a protest, against the University's move, of awarding a honorary doctorate to Pejawar Seer. They would be holding the protest, in front of the administrative office of Tumkur University, on December 4.
In fact on the same day, the university is scheduled to present awards to six persons including the Seer. Dalit organizations led by M. D. Dodde Gowda, BSP leader Rajasimha, and others, are planning to stage the protest, against the selection of the Seer, for the honorary doctorate award of the university for 2010. But a few other organisations and Dalit poet, K. B. Siddaiah of Tumkur, have strongly defended the University's move to select the Seer for the prestigious award recognising his services to society.
Dalit poet Siddaiah, told Deccan Chronicle, that it was foolish to oppose the selection of the seer for the award, merely because he is the head of Madhwa Brahmin Math.
He asked the Dalit organisations why they did not question the selection of Lakshman Das, who belongs to the Dalit community.
Siddaiah said that they (Dalit organisations) opposed the selection of the seer to garner mileage for themselves.
A few organisations such as Vipra Jagruti Vedike, and Hindu Jagaran Vedike, have also welcomed the move to confer the doctorate on the seer. The Hindu Jagaran Vedike convenor, G.S. Basavaraj told this newspaper, that the seer is involved in several social service activities, including bringing social harmony. When contacted, Pejawar seer said that a honorary doctorate degree makes no difference to him as he is a Sanyasi. “Why a doctorate for a religious head like me,” he asked.
When, asked about the move by a few Dalit organisations to protest against his selection for the doctorate, he told this newspaper that he was unaware of the development.