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BU to install Buddha statue next to Saraswathi

To put an end to the on-going row over idol installation, Bangalore University (BU) has decided to install Buddha idol beside Goddess Saraswathi idol in the administrative block at Jnanabharathi campus.

On Wednesday, the sub-committee under the chairmanship of syndicate member Shivanna unanimously agreed for the decision. The issue began on Monday as Bangalore University found itself in an idol controversy after a few research scholars installed a Gautam Buddha idol in place of an old Saraswati idol at the entrance of the administrative block in Jnanabharathi campus. The old Saraswati was awaiting replacement with a new one. The new idol had reached the campus a few days back and the administration had intended to install it by Friday. But in a surprising turn of events on Monday morning, a few research scholars along with a few university staff brought an idol of Buddha in a procession and installed it in the same place where a new Saraswati idol was supposed to be installed. Irked by the provocation, several students and staff took out a protest and urged the management to get the idol removed.

“The Saraswati idol here was installed in 1973 by then Vice-Chancellor H Narasimhaiah,” said a protestor. “Since the old idol was damaged a few years back, the present Vice-Chancellor wanted to replace it with a new one. He has spent his own money for the cause.” The protestor said he didn’t have any objection for installing the Buddha idol, but wondered why it had to be installed at that particular place. Following the installation, protestors requested Vice Chancellor Venugopal KR to intervene and get the idol removed. They also sat on a silent protest in front of Buddha idol. After a few minutes, people who had installed the statue turned up at the administration block and there was a heated exchange of words between both the parties following which police personnel were called in.

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