A battlefront in the south

Print edition : March 02, 2018

At the Datta Jayanti celebrations on Bababudan hill on December 24, 2015, pro-Hindutva activists engaged in arguments with the police over displaying the Bhagavadwaja at the disputed site. Photo: PRAKASH HASSAN

Minister D.N. Jeevaraj and BJP MLA C.T. Ravi offering prayers to an idol of Guru Datta placed outside the shrine on December 27, 2012. Photo: G.T. SATISH

Participants in the Datta Jayanti celebrations trying to break through the barricade into the disputed site on December 3, 2017. Photo: PRAKASH HASSAN

A view of the Sri Guru Dattatreya Bababudan Swamy Dargah on Bababudan hill. This photograph was taken on March 3, 1976, on the occasion of the urs at the shrine. None of the buildings surrounding the cave exists now. Photo: BY SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

The shrine inside the cave before its geography was altered. Photo: BY SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Flowers adorn a grave inside the shrine in the cave. Photo: JENNIFER KISHAN

The Sri Guru Dattatreya Bababudan Swamy Dargah in Karnataka, a symbol of syncretic culture venerated by both Hindus and Muslims, is caught in a legal tangle with Hindutva activists seeking to convert it into a Hindu temple.
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