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Then They Came For Us: BJP, RSS Protest Against Proposed Statue Of Jesus In Karnataka’s Kanakapura

Hindu Jagarana Vedike members take out a rally in Kanakapura on Monday. Photo Source: DH Photo/Janardhan BK.

Hundreds of workers and volunteers of the BJP, Hindu Jagran Vedike, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the RSS took out a massive rally on Monday in protest against the proposed installation of a 114-foot tall statue of Jesus Christ at Kapala Betta in Karnataka’s Kanakapura, in their ongoing hate campaign against minority communities in the country.

The Nazi-inspired rightwingers have alleged that the land on which the statue is being proposed to be built has an ancient association with Munieshwara (a form of Hindu deity Shiva) and have questioned how DK Shivakumar, the Kanakapura MLA acquired the 10 acres of land which he ‘donated’ for the installation of the statue.

While the BJP has accused him of acquiring land through a scam, the Congress strongman has maintained that he spent his own money to buy a 10-acre government plot for the trust that is building what will be the world’s tallest monolithic statue of Jesus.

Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat addressing a rally in Kanakapura, Ramanagara.

Notorious RSS leader Kalladaka Prabhakar Bhat, who was recently in the news for making school-going children enact the destruction of the Babri Masjid, said they would not allow the construction of a Christ statue on the Kapala hills. “There is a big responsibility on Hindus. We don’t want a statue of Jesus Christ. But instead we can erect a statue of Pejawar Swami or Basaveshwara Swami or Balagangadhara Swami, or someone else who has worked for this nation. Hindus have only one nation – India,” he said.

In the meantime, the BJP leader and state revenue minister R. Ashoka has already promised that the land would be taken back. He stated that the land allotted was gomal (grazing) land and that the government is reviewing the land allotted for the statue. The Ramanagara district administration has sent notices to the Harobele Kapalabetta Development Trust, which was going to construct the statue.

The state government also transferred Kanakapura tehsildar Anandaiah, reported Deccan Herald. Anandaiah had been responsible for spot inspections at the proposed site of the statue and had been preparing a report when the transfer order arrived.

The anti-Christian protest by the RSS has come at a time when the country is witnessing massive nationwide protests against the divisive Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The RSS protest drew sharp criticism from political activist, poet, lyricist and screenwriter Javed Akhtar.

“They boast they will give citizenship to all the religiously persecuted Christians from the neighbor countries at the same time they claim that they will not allow a statue of Jesus Christ in Banglore. Wow!! Makes perfect sense,” Akhtar, who is a vocal critic of the CAA, tweeted.

2008 Repeats

The state witnessed a wave of attacks on Christians and churches in 2008 led by extremist groups like the Bajrang Dal and Sri Ram Sena.

The BJP, which was in power in the state, and B.S. Yeddyurappa, who was even then the state’s Chief Minister instead blamed the Christian community for creating ‘disharmony and social tension’ in the state. He also accused the beleaguered community of ‘induced conversions’.

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