Sunday, February 22, 2004
Slumming It Out : OutLookIndia.com

Which way will this go?

I heartily welcome the efforts of Periyavaa (HH Shankaracharya) to integrate the Hindus - if that is what this is. However, there are obvious problems with this: I doubt if Periyava really understands that preaching as a superior, the way he is doing, might grate in the ears of the upcoming groups (as Martin Johnson's response indicates)? Does he understand the cultural differences between the communities? Has he readied himself to accept these differences? Many Brahmin youth are put off by the style of preaching followed by the elders in the Brahmin community. Why would Dalits now accept it?

Also, I am queasy about all this political negotiations going on. Periyava should staunchly refuse to enter the political arena, even as a supporter of a party/individual. His work is in the social arena, in parallel with the politicos. If he or anybody around him forget this, it could be dangerous to the prestige, and safety, of the Kanchi Mutt as an institution.

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