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November 12, 2004

Kanchi Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswathi's arrest and remand has provoked extreme reactions, some of which are reproduced below.

While devotees were shocked, critics of the seer too expressed surprise at the manner in which the arrest was carried out.

Tell us what you think of the Shankaracharya's arrest.

Praveen Togadia, international secretary, Vishwa Hindu Parishad

"Can the Pope be arrested like this? Will they arrest Imam Bukhari of the Jamma Masjid on Eid as there are so many cases pending against him?"

"Why was the Shankaracharya arrested from Andhra Pradesh, a Congress-ruled state? Why was he arrested at midnight? And why was his arrest made on Diwali day, the most auspicious of Hindu festivals? This is for the first time in the history of Hindus that a Shankaracharya has been arrested."

M Karunanidhi, DMK president

"If a virtuous woman commits mistakes, she can get a pardon by taking a holy bath in the Ganges, but if the Ganges itself commits a mistake, where does one go for pardon? There should be a law to ensure only virtuous persons become saints."

Arun Jaitley, BJP spokesman

"The BJP is shocked. The arrest has surprised the nation and the party. If his presence was required for an inquiry, was the arrest necessary?"

Nischalananda Saraswati, the Shankaracharya of Puri

"It is a sad news for the country. It is a blow to the existence and ideology of Hindus. The very existence of Hindus is at stake. Who will be responsible for the humiliation meted out to the pontiff if he is exonerated tomorrow?"

Ashok Sampath, president, Hindu Makkal Kakshi, Chennai

"I strongly condemn the action. The Sankara Mutt is a 2,500-year-old institution. No Shankaracharya would commit a murder in the garbhagriha."

Photograph: RAVEENDRAN/AFP/Getty Images

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Read what others have to say:

Number of User Comments: 853

Sub: quary

Sir, I want to say that i am the new member of rediff. i came to know that you have a free messeges servises. i ...

Posted by himanshu

Sub: popes are arrested

Mr.Togadia was not knowing about other religion it seems. He is talking in anger and not knowing the facts or suppressing it cleverly. The fouder ...

Posted by I.Jayaraj

Sub: jr.seer's conditional bail

it is utrocious and humiliating to all hindu's when the junior seer has been released from prison on conditional bail of reporting to a police ...

Posted by chandrasekar

Sub: The government has a duty to enfore the law of the land.

If the Senior and Junior seers are even suspected of doing anything illegal, shouldn't the common devotees come together and take action against them? They ...

Posted by Guna

Sub: People are Careless of India Law

I think Everywhere there is curruption and all murders and scam did happened because people in India no matter what he is a Holy man ...

Posted by Rahul


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