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|August 31, 1998||
Puri Shankarachayra blasts Advani, Singhal
Shankarachayra of Puri Swami Adhokshajanand Tirtha today lashed out at the leadership of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad for politicising religion and misleading the youth to serve their political interest.
Addressing the media in Bombay at the weekend, Swami Tirtha targeted BJP leader and Union Home Minister Lal Kishinchand Advani and VHP general secretary Ashok Singhal and alleged that they were men of double standards with hidden agenda.
He dubbed them as ''dramatists'' and said they were not fit to hold the high posts in the government or religious organisations. They were playing with the sentiments of the youth by misguiding them in the name of religion, he charged.
The shankaracharya alleged that these leaders were spreading anarchy by misusing religion. ''They are more dangerous than terrorists as the terrorists at least did not have any hidden agenda.''
He said he had toured the North-East and met several terrorists who were at least open and honest about their intentions. ''There is every possibility of bringing them back to the mainstream and he would be the guarantor for them,'' he said.
He alleged that Singhal had first provoked a violent clash between two groups of sadhus during the Kumbh Mela and then went on to claim that he resolved the feud.
He said the growing interference of politicians in religious matters had endangered the religion, he said.
He said politicians should also keep themselves away from issues like temple construction at Ayodhya as it was the job of the dharmagurus (religious heads).
He alleged there is also no account of the money collected for constructing the Ram temple. He had received several such complaints from people, including non-resident Indians who had made huge donations for the same purpose, he added.
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