How religion met politics while you were asleep

ASHWINI A. writes from Bangalore: The longer the paryaya row drags on, the more the developments in Udupi remind you of the disgusting drama that preceded the transfer of power in Bangalore from the JDS to the BJP three months ago.

An adamant elder, fresh conditions, a show of strength by both sides, last-minute negotiations….

As if to complete the pathetic spectacle, we now have reports of mysterious middlemen spiriting away the seers in the dead of night for secret parleys in unknown locations.

Make no mistake, like in the loukik drama, the suspense-filled climax to the dharmic drama will come just hours and minutes before the actual transfer of power. Which is any time now.

But a sad reflection of the depths the Udupi show has descended to, can be detected in a news report in today’s Deccan Herald that reveals that a car bearing a Maharashtra registration (and a fancy number of MH 05, AF 9009) picked up the Pejawar seer, Sri Vishvesha Teertha swamiji, and the Puttige seer, Sri Sugunendra Teertha swamiji, at well past midnight and took them to an undisclosed location.

Interestingly, soon after they returned from their secret rendezvous, the two seers announced that the impasse would be ended in 24 hours.

Who is this mystery peace-maker? Is he a politician, a businessman, or heaven forbid, another seer?

What are his interests in solving the problem? What magic mantra does he have that has evaded the two seers with all their accumulated wisdom? How did the two seers momentarily sink their differences and decide to take a ride together in the car in the middle of the night? Did the problem require an external party to make seers see reason?

Also, why a Maharashtra registered car? Is it a red herring? Or is His Excellency playing a role between Their Holinesses?

The two seers—and their six compatriots in the Ashta mutt—have so far played the whole drama which they otherwise term an internal matter of the mutt, in public. Surely, they owe an explanation to their devotees and clear the air over the mystery person and why his services were sought?

Also read: Shouldn’t swamijis go abroad?

40 winks at 2.50 pm for a 77-year-old