Men marching at the rally with swords in their hands

By Prajwal Bhat / The News Minute

On Sunday morning, a rally of over 200 people belonging to different faiths and carrying Indian flags, marched through the busy city bus stand area in Udupi in Karnataka. AR Rahman’s rendition of Vande Mataram blared over the speakers and the rally — Sab Ko Sanmati De Bhagwan — which began at a temple, stopped at a mosque, a church and ultimately ended at the Gandhi Bhavan in the coastal town.

Hours later, a rally at least fifty times bigger went along a similar route. This rally, by the Hindutva group Hindu Jagarana Vedike, had over 10,000 people chanting slogans, with a few of them brandishing swords, to the backdrop of percussion-heavy beats. At one point, a chant broke out — “we will build a Hindu rashtra,” with dignitaries including the local MLA Raghupathi Bhat enthusiastically endorsing the idea by waving his hands along to it.

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