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'Kanchi Acharya first pontiff to mingle with Dalits'

'Kanchi Acharya first pontiff to mingle with Dalits'

Author: Our Special Correspondent
Publication: The Hindu
Date: November 28, 2004
URL: http://www.hindu.com/2004/11/28/stories/2004112808010400.htm

The Kanchi Sankaracharya, Sri Jayendra Saraswathi, is the first pontiff in the Sankara Mutt lineage to mingle with the Dalits and other downtrodden sections. Hence, his arrest is regrettable, Vai. Balasundaram, State president of the Ambedkar Makkal Iyakkam, said here today.

He told presspersons that he did not want to go into the details of the arrest as it was sub-judice.

From his association with the Acharya for the past several years, he had learnt about the humane side of Jayendra Saraswathi, who had contributed a great deal to the uplift of the downtrodden.

Without any inhibitions the Acharya had stayed in a hut of a Dalit, Chelladurai, at Ramancheri, near Thiruttani, recently and offered his blessings.

The Acharya had also established the Ambedkar Maha Sabha for the welfare of the Dalits. He was a firm believer in the adage that "all religions were acceptable" and hence, he had cordial relations with the religious leaders of all communities.

Solution to Ayodhya

Our Special Correspondent from Chennai reports:

Sri Jayendra Saraswathi, if granted bail, would strive for an out-of-court settlement to the Ayodhya issue with the consent of the two communities, the Tamil Nadu Muslim Personal Law Board's chairman, Mohd. Amaan Khan, said here today.

In a statement, he said it was the Sankaracharya, who, for the first time, initiated a great effort to find a solution in 2002. "The Indian Muslims can neither deny his efforts nor forget them."

Muslims did not have any difference of opinion over Sankaracharya's efforts to find an amicable solution and promote cordiality between the two communities, Mr. Khan said.

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