Thousands Protest Over Proposed Jesus Christ Statue In Karnataka

Hundreds of Hindu activists affiliated to the RSS protested on Monday to oppose a planned statue of Jesus Christ in Karnataka that will match Rio de Janeiro’s Christ The Redeemer for size.

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The protests in the southern state of Karnataka were led by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and others holding saffron flags. “We want to stop (the statue), since it goes against the spirit of communal harmony and encourages religious conversions which is rampantly carried out by Christian missionaries,” Prabhakar Bhat, a top RSS functionary told the reporters.

Construction of the white granite statue 114 feet high, slightly shorter than the Rio statue (however with bigger base) stopped soon after it started last month after objections.

Many Hindus believe the hill where the statue is set to stand in the Christian-dominated village of Harobele is the abode of a Hindu deity, although no temple exists there. The BJP-run state government accused the previous administration of the main opposition Congress party of illegally allotting the plot of land.

The statute is planned to come up in Harobele, a village dominated by Christians. Congress leader DK Shivakumar, who is the MLA from Kanakapura and is helping get the statue built, defended the project saying everything about it was legitimate and that it was a request from the villagers.

Veteran lyricist and critic – Javed Akhtar also hit out at those resisting the construction of a statue of Jesus Christ in Karnataka. Taking a dig at the BJP-led central government, Akhtar said, “They boast they will give citizenship to all the religiously persecuted Christians from the neighbour countries at the same time they claim that they will not allow a statue of Jesus Christ in Banglore [sic].”