Following the High Court of Karnataka quashing the Government Order appointing a Mujawar to perform religious practices at Sree Guru Dattatreya Bababudan Swamy Dargah in Chikkamagaluru taluk, Syed Ghouse Mohiuddin Shah Khadri, the hereditary administrator of the shrine, has resolved to file a writ appeal challenging the High Court order.
Shah Khadri contended: “I am sure we have strong points to argue. The Supreme Court had accepted the 2018 Government Order and directed the government to notify it in the gazette.” His advocate Mohammed Ahmed said that the Supreme Court had accepted the Government Order in the contempt petition filed by Shah Khadri. “The same was notified in the gazette. The High Court has quashed the order.” The High Court, citing Article 25 of the Constitution, said that the “State had infringed upon the right of Hindu community to have the puja and archana done in the manner as per their faith” while also imposing upon the Mujawar to perform ‘paduka pooja’ and to light ‘nanda deepa’ “contrary to his faith.”
This observation does not go with the nature of the shrine, opined Shivasundar, convener of Komu Souhrada Vedike, which has been in favour of retaining the syncretic nature of the shrine. “In all Sufi shrines, the Mujawar performs religious practices. The recorded historic practices performed at the shrine also clearly show that it was Mujawar who performed the rituals. If a priest (archaka) is appointed, he performs rituals as per Agama sytem, then it amounts to changing the nature of the shrine,” he said. “Let us see what system the present government adopts. The respondents will have an option to move court if not happy with the government’s decision.”
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