Individuals free to choose their religion: Pejavar Swamiji

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Mangalore, 20 June 2011: Vishvesha Thirtha swamiji of Pejavar Adhokshaja mutt expressing surprise at protests held by Dalit Sangharsh Samiti on his statement on dalits converting to Buddhism said individuals are free to accept a religion of their choice. Even dalits have the right to convert and I have not questioned their right to do so, he said adding that likewise every individual has the right and freedom to advise other citizens on issues. 



There is no doubt that they are Hindus, he stated adding that there is nothing wrong in initiating them into traditions of Hindu religion. Such a step, the swamiji opined would be helpful in eradicating the practice of untouchability, he said. 


He decried attempts to derail his efforts to address the issue of untouchability by raising the bogey of caste. 


Warning that neither the caste system or practice of untouchability could be addressed if such efforts are made, the swamiji said his entire thrust is to address untouchability. Questioning if untouchability exists among upper caste Hindus, the swamiji said his earnest appeal is to consider even the dalits as caste Hindus and urged the Left leaning Dalit organisations to understand his concern over the issue and cooperate with his efforts. 



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