The head of one of India’s leading Hindu monastic institutions, the Shankaracharya of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham, said it was time for the Hindus and Muslims to stand together.
“This is a time for both Hindus and Muslims to stand as one. Despite differences, they have to realise that their aims are the same. National unity is pertinent,” Jayendra Saraswathi, the 69th pontiff of the Kanchi Math told HT when asked for his views on the level of tolerance in the country, amid incidents like the Dadri lynching and the Sena’s attack on Sudheendra Kulkarni.
The 82-year-old seer’s statement is considered to be significant due to his reported proximity to the leaders of the RSS and the VHP.
When asked about scientists, artists, historians, writers, and other eminent personalities returning the awards given to them by the government in the last few days to protest against a “vitiated and intolerant” atmosphere in the country, the Shankaracharya said it was not right on their part to be returning the awards.
“They should not be returning the awards. Perhaps, they are not thinking right,” he said. Before driving down to Delhi, the Shankaracharya was in Haridwar for a religious congregation.
When asked about cow slaughter, he said: “There is no way cows should be allowed to be slaughtered in India”.