New Delhi: Janata Dal (Secular) supremo and ex-PM H.D. Deve Gowda congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday for unveiling a statue of saint Adi Shankaracharya at the holy site of Kedarnath, saying he was “deeply moved” by it.
In a letter to PM Modi dated 6 November, Gowda wrote: “I am deeply moved to see the very impressive black schist statue of the great saint Sri Adi Shankaracharya being unveiled by you in Kedarnath on November 5. I congratulate you for the dedication you have shown to the transformation of the holy site.”
I wrote to Prime Minister Shri @narendramodi on the new #Shankaracharya statue in #Kedarnath, and how the Sringeri Sharada Peetham in Karnataka, established by the great saint, has to me always been a refined symbol of interfaith harmony. pic.twitter.com/f9D3COj7yq
— H D Devegowda (@H_D_Devegowda) November 6, 2021
On Friday, PM Modi unveiled a 12-foot statue at the seer’s rebuilt samadhi.
Work on the Shankaracharya statue, weighing around 35 tonnes, had begun in 2019. Its unveiling was streamed live at 12 jyotirlingas, four mutts or monasteries established by the eighth century seer, his birth place and a number of prominent temples across the country.
— BJP (@BJP4India) November 5, 2021
‘Symbol of interfaith harmony’ and Karnataka connection
Noting the seer’s Karnataka connection, the former PM said “the Sringeri Sharada Peetham in Karnataka, established by the great saint” has “always been a refined symbol of interfaith harmony” to him.
Deve Gowda said it was Sringeri Mutt’s “inclusiveness” that attracted him. “It has been a spiritual counsellor across the centuries to many rulers and kingdoms,” he said.
It wasn’t just the Wodeyars, the Peshwas, the Keladi and Travancore rulers who benefitted from the Mutt but also the Mysore Kings Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan and the Nizam of Hyderabad who “gained from the devotion of the Math (Mutt) and the wise counsel it offered”, said the ex-PM.
Deve Gowda also highlighted a Karnataka connection to the statue: the sculptor Arun Yogiraj is from Mysuru and the black schist was extracted from H.D. Kote located in Mysuru district.
“There is so much of Karnataka connection in this endeavor,” he wrote, adding that he wished to see the newly installed statue.
With inputs from PTI