Karkala: Every year hundreds of beggars come to St Lawrence Shrine Attur and gather alms from the devotees, which caused irritation and inconvenience to the devotees.
The beggars used to run behind every devotee and pester them for money. Keeping this in mind the church authorities decided to ban anyone from begging in and around the church premises.
On January 26, one of the devotees who went to the shrine noticed a man dressed like Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation. He went around begging on the street nearby. The devotee immediately alerted the police who were on duty,
But instead of sending him away, they allowed him to continue begging. When the cops on duty failed to take action, the devotee called mangalorean.com and expressed his anguish.
He said it was an insult to all citizens when someone was begging in Mahatma Gandhi’s attire and requested that necessary steps be taken.
Mangalorean.com got into action and informed the SP of Udupi about this man who was dressed like Mahatma Gandhi and was begging near the shrine. The church authorities were also informed. The SP of Udupi district took immediate action by ordering his force to evict the man from the area.
When questioned as he was being taken away, the man said that he was collecting funds for Swachh Bharat campaign.
One of the devotees who saw the man dressed like Mahatma Gandhi said, “If he is promoting Swachh Bharat it is a good idea, but let him not insult Gandhiji who is revered as the Father of the Nation and who fought against the British to free our great country or dress like any other great leaders with a begging bowl in hand.”
Yes, sometimes we forget our leaders who laid their lives for the country. Full credit goes to SP Annamalai who took the initiative to warn and evict the man from the area.
Later enquiries revealed that the same man had been found begging also on the streets of Udupi during the Paryaya. Because of the negligence of a few policemen, he got encouraged to continue to insult the Father of the Nation, although he was not aware of his gross indiscretion.