Legal News

Seer Kesavananda Bharati, hailed as Constitution’s saviour, passes away at 80

He was the petitioner in the landmark judgment of the Supreme Court on fundamental rights.

Kesavananda Bharati Swamiji, the seer of Edneer Mutt in neighbouring Kasargod district of Kerala and the petitioner in the landmark judgment of the Supreme Court on fundamental rights, passed away in the Mutt in the early hours of Sunday, he was 80. Following cardiac and breathing problems, the seer had been hospitalised in a private hospital in Mangaluru.

He headed the Mutt since 1961. Apart from being a proponent of Advaita philosophy, the seer was an excellent classical singer. He ran a ‘Yakshagana Mela’ (troupe) for nearly 15 years and took part as a ‘Bhagavata’ (singer and director), rendering Carnatic music.

“His patronage removed the inhibition with the ‘Yakshagana’ artists and brought them the prominence they deserved,” said Shyam Bhat, former Karnataka Public Sevice Commission Chairman and a devotee of the Swamiji.

The Swamiji conducted annual ‘Yakshagana saptaha’ (week-long Yakshagana shows) and ‘Yakshagana Talamaddale’ programmes. On September 1, he was the ‘Bhagavata’ in the ‘Talamaddale’ programme in the Mutt.

The Swamiji was a strong proponent of Kannada in Kasargod that bordered Karnataka and lent his support to Kannada activists.

The seer had recently completed his 60th ‘chaturmasya’ (holy period of four months).

It was on April 24, 1973, that the Constitutional Bench headed by then Chief Justice S.M. Sikri delivered the judgment in the Kesavananda Bharati vs State of Kerala case which held that that Parliament could amend any part of the Constitution so long as it did not alter or amend “the basic structure or essential features of the Constitution.”

Source: The Hindu

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