Bangalore University embroiled in statue row | Bengaluru News

May 08, 2019

BENGALURU: The ‘idol’ war in Bangalore University intensified on Tuesday with rival factions — those favouring Goddess Saraswati’s idol and those insisting on Gautam Buddha’s statue, refusing to cede ground. Oficials fear the deadlock between the two groups could turn into a caste clash.
Trouble broke out in the varsity’s Jnanabharathi campus on Monday evening when some students and staff replaced Saraswati’s idol with that of Buddha at the entrance of the administrative block. When varsity officials took objection to the move and insisted that Buddha’s idol be shifted elsewhere, the students refused and staged a demonstration.

Home minister MB Patil sought a report from the director-general and inspector general of police about the incident. “The university should not have replaced one statue with another. We have great respect for both Saraswati and Buddha. I have instructed the police chief to ensure things remain as they were earlier,” Patil told mediapersons on Tuesday.
The situation, however, was still tense on the varsity campus with those favouring Buddha’s statue turning down the vice-chancellor’s proposal to form a sub-committee to identify another place to install it.
According to varsity sources, the idol war is a fallout of shadow-boxing between some officials, who have ulterior motives. “Saraswati’s statue has been placed at the entrance of the administrative building since 1973, and there was no issue till now. But since one of its hands was damaged while garlanding the statue, it was decided to replace it with a new idol. BU vice-chancellor Venugopal KR spent Rs 7.5 lakh from his pocket and got the new idol readied; it was due for installation on Friday. But in a sudden turn of events, Buddha’s statue was installed and it snowballed into a row,” varsity officials said.
They claimed two senior university officials and a professor were fuelling the controversy. While the officials are against the VC for being transparent in administrative matters, the professor has been trying to exercise more control over varsity affairs. An official is said to have funded the Buddha statue, which cost nearly Rs 3 lakh.

Source : Times of India

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