Bengaluru: Saffron stands for purity. Saffron stands for sacrifice and saffron stands for knowledge. But for a few, saffron stands for opposing for the sake of opposing and hurting the sentiments of the majority religion. 

You may wear ochre robes, but deep inside you may be a hypocrite, trying to hurt national sentiments as well! 

Swami Agnivesh, a controversial man who claimed himself to be a Hindu monk, is an epitome and exemplar of what we are saying! 

First on the list of his tomfoolery is how he targeted the Puri Jagannath temple in 2007. 

He had said that the temple should be opened to non-Hindus as well. 

This certainly angered so many people, including the then Puri collector and the deputy chief administrator of the Temple, Rashmi Ranjan Pattnaik, who had said, “We will warn Agnivesh not to make any inflammatory remarks that will hurt the religious sentiments of Hindus. His remarks have created resentment among priests. We will send him a letter of warning.” 

From the temple in Odisha, he had targeted the Amaranath pilgrimage. He had said that the pilgrimage was pure deception. 

Taking umbrage to it, Swami Narayandass Puri, head priest of Sangla Shivala Mandir, had stated thus: “Swami Agnivesh has passed derogatory remarks about the Amarnath shrine. He called the sacred ice stalagmite, representing Lord Shiva as just another block of ice. We consider this as an insult of our lord. Hence, we are carrying out this demonstration demanding strict action to be taken against him.”

But the fake swami’s idiosyncrasies had not stopped yet! 

He had said, “Nobody will dare to tell you this, but I am telling you and you must admit this fact that the Amarnath Yatra whose duration was stretched in a planned way is the source of catastrophe for the people of Kashmir. Amarnath yatra is a cocktail. It is the combination of religion and tourism and both the Hindu zealot groups and tourism department want to reap maximum benefits out of it. The increased human traffic is threatening the environment in this fragile ecosystem, a major source of water for the Indus River. Scientists are now grappling with how to protect the headwaters of Kashmir Valley.”

In fact, when the matter was brought to the notice of the top court, it had urged him to measure his words before talking. 

 Apart from these episodes of hurting Hindus, he had also urged peace talks with Naxals and disruption of Anna Hazare’s movement against corruption. 

Now, with these emphatic exhibitions of targeting the majority community, it is how understandable why only those on the other side of the spectrum paid him tributes while the true Hindus remained silent.