Govt. appoints management committee for Dargah/Peetha atop Bababudangiri


The cave shrine atop Bababudangiri in Chikkamagaluru taluk.

The cave shrine atop Bababudangiri in Chikkamagaluru taluk.
| Photo Credit: File photo

The State government has appointed an eight-member management committee to manage Sri Guru Dattatreya Bababudan Swamy Peetha/Dargah, a syncretic cave-shrine atop Bababudangiri in Chikkamagaluru taluk.

Rohini Sindhuri, member secretary of Karnataka Rajya Dharmika Parishat and Commissioner of Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments Department, issued an order appointing the committee on Friday. The committee consists of Sathish K., Leela C.G., Sheela, Sumanth N.S., K.S .Guruvesh, G.H. Hemanth Kumar, S.M. Basha, and C.S. Chetan.

The order states that the appointment is subject to the final order of the writ petition pending before the Karnataka High Court. The shrine is one of the composite institutions administered by the department.

Ghouse Mohiuddin Shah Khadri, the hereditary administrator of the shrine, had filed the writ petition challenging the September 28, 2021, verdict that asked the State government to relook into the issue quashing the previous government’s order dated March 19, 2018, which had authorised only Muzawar appointed by the Shah Khadri perform the rituals in the shrine. The management committee has been appointed even as the writ petition is pending.

The department had invited applications from those interested to be in the management committee in August this year. There were 42 applications and the committee was finalised by the Dharmika Parishat’s meeting held on November 2. The members will have to elect one among them as the president of the committee.

The shrine has been in legal battles for decades following Hindutva organisations’ demand that it be declared a “Hindu place of worship.” Soon after the committee was appointed, Chikkamagaluru MLA and BJP national general secretary C.T. Ravi on his Facebook account posted that the appointment of the committee was the “success of the five-decade-long struggle of Hindus.”

However, Syed Ghouse Mohiuddin Shah Khadri, took serious exception to the State government’s move. He opined that the government had been against the court’s order which ordered for status quo. “When the writ appeal is pending before the court, the government has taken this decision. We will file a contempt of court and if necessary will move Supreme Court on this issue”, he told The Hindu.

The government constituted the committee as per the recommendations of the Cabinet sub-committee headed by J.C. Madhuswamy, Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs. It recommended the constitution of the management committee involving representatives of both Hindus and Muslims. It suggested the appointment of both a Hindu priest and a Muslim Mujawar to perform the rituals at the shrine.


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