Siddaramaiah must realise that his reputation precedes his present actions. His ‘I too am a Hindu’ claim will not absolve him of his misdeeds
Prashant Vaidyaraj from Bengaluru
The Chief Minister of Karnataka Siddaramaiah visiting temples, performing aarti to Shiva, visiting gau shalas is something no one imaged a few days ago. It is certainly reminiscent of Rahul Gandhi’s temple tour during Gujarat elections. Rahul Gandhi became a ‘janeu dhari’ Hindu during Gujarat elections which Congress apologists say had an impact on the Gujarat results. In an attempt to replicate its Gujarat performance, Siddaramaiah has resorted to display his ‘Hindu’ side. He is a self-claimed atheist and one who has despised every Hindu tradition and has forced an anti-Hindu anti-superstition bill on the state. He has remained silent over the killings of more than 20 Hindu activists during his tenure, besmirched their sacrifice, has called BJP and RSS as ‘extremists’ and is even hesitant to take the name of PFI. Today his claims that ‘I too am a Hindu’ with an aim to paint a pro-Hindu image of himself just before elections is a gimmick that people will see through.
Perturbed by huge popularity Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath enjoyed during his recent visit to Karnataka, Siddaramaiah now wishes to shed his anti-Hindu image only for the sake of the upcoming Assembly elections. Siddaramaiah throughout his tenure has displayed utter contempt for Hindus and their traditions. His coterie is full of people who are rabidly anti-Hindu and baiters of Hindu organisations. His media adviser Dinesh Aminmattu, had penned a derogatory piece deriding Swami Vivekananda in a Kannada daily few years ago which had given rise to wide-spread protests all across Karnataka. Siddaramaiah who today claims to be a follower of Swami Vivekananda never took any action against his media adviser nor asked him to apologise.
Likewise Baragur Ramachandrappa, who chaired the textbook revision committee is a
confidante of the Chief Minister. The textbooks compiled under the chairmanship of Ramachandrappa were not just full of factual errors but had done everything possible to undermine Hindu history, traditions, practices and icons. Fathom the fact that one of the changes brought by Ramachandrappa’s committee was to print an image of Kittur Rani Chanamma without a sword as the committee opined that the famous image with her sword, astride on a horse would showcase violence to children! The new changes reinforced now have discredited Aryan invasion theory in the state syllabus and also bolstered the fabricated Dravidian nationalism. Parts of the textbooks have termed Hindu practices as of ‘Aryan’ origin and Kannadigas as Dravidians. But today Siddaramaiah claims to be a better Hindu than Yogi!
Yogi Adityanath’s visit and the response he received from the public has shaken up the Congress. While speaking at a rally, Siddaramaiah not only spoke ill of Yogi and addressed him in the singular, he claimed that he was a better Hindu than Yogi as he was a ‘Humanist’. Siddaramaiah’s uncouth utterances against a Yogi of the Natha tradition did not go well with the people of the state. The famous Adichunchanagiri Matha belongs to the Natha tradition and has millions of devotees in the State and the world over. Erstwhile head of the same Matha Shri Balagangadharanatha Swamiji and the incumbent Shri Nirmalanandanatha Swamiji are immensely popular across the State. An insult to Yogi Adityanath is seen as an affront to the adherents of the Natha tradition. Apart from debasing Hindu leaders and organisations in recent times, a cursory look at Siddaramaiah’s tenure holds a mirror to the kind of anti-Hindu and pro-minority politics that he has indulged in.
Siddaramaiah claims that he is a good Hindu as he has reared cows. But his own government grants Rs10 lakh to a cattle smuggler who was killed in a police encounter. He has never spoken against illegal cow slaughter or cattle trafficking that is happening unabated under his watch. Keeping the emotions of Hindus in mind during the election year, he forced himself to visit the house of Deepak Rao, a young man who was murdered by Islamists last week, and met his mother. However, when Prashanth Poojary was killed in Moodabidre in 2015, he remained silent when one of his ministers scornfully said that they cannot keep visiting houses of everyone who gets killed. That is the kind of
contempt the Chief Minister and his ministers have for Hindus in the State. Wearing a different hat before elections will not cut ice with the electorate.
Over the last 4 years, more than 3500 farmers have committed suicide in the State. Most of these farmers were Hindus. Yet, Siddaramaiah who today claims that he is a good Hindu because he reared cows, has neither bothered about the farmers nor for the well-being of the cattle in his state.
Siddaramaiah’s pathological hatred for Hindus has not spared even the children. The Muzrai department of his own government had ordered the Kollur Temple to stop financial aid meant to fund afternoon meals for kids of Shree Rama Vidya Kendra located in Kalladka and Shree Devi Vidya Kendra in Punacha. The reason—the school was run by Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat, a RSS leader and a prominent Hindu voice in the state. Significantly 94 per cent of the schools’ children are from poor backgrounds and hail from the Adivasi and Backward Castes, including Dalits. The Congress Governments’ hatred for Hindus is evident from the fact that the temple funds 52 other schools but funds for only these two schools were withdrawn. As of today, Siddaramaiah’s Government has not reinstated the funds from the Kollur temple when he is on a temple hopping spree.
Anti-superstition bill was brought in to weigh down on the Hindus, their practices and rituals in several temples. There were suggestions that even the Homa and Havans have to be stopped in temples which are under the Muzrai department as they were deemed superstitious by his cabal of advisers. Though that suggestion was dropped, many age old practices of Hindus have been targeted in the bill including the ‘Made snana’ custom of rolling over left-over meal leafs is followed at the Kukke Subramanya temple by
several caste groups themselves for ages. Animal sacrifice that is part of Hindu rituals in villages has been banned in the name of cruelty to animals. But the same bill makes no mention of animals sacrificed during Id-ul-fitr and other Muslim festivals.
Siddaramaiah who today claims that ‘I too am a Hindu’ should answer ‘What did he or his government do when the world famous Belur Chennakeshava temple turned 900 or when the 1000th Jayanti of Ramanujacharya was observed in 2017?’ The Government which forces ‘Tipu Jayanti’ on its people in a dictatorial manner every year, has not even officially commemorated Swami Vivekananda’s birthday during the last 4 years. Today Siddaramaiah claims to be a follower of Swami Vivekananda!
The Congress Governments’ anti-Hindu moves might find a match only under the reign of the Bahamani Sultans or the notorious Nizams. The Government had ordered filing of a bond of Rs 10 Lakh for any organiser who wished to install and take a procession of Ganapati idol in public. There are no similar rules for processions during Muharram or Shab-e-Baaraat. Government servants, including Policemen, were ordered not to adorn any Hindu symbols like kumkum or tilak as it was against the tenets of a ‘secular’ government.
Siddaramaiah must realise that his reputation precedes his present actions. None will fall for new found love for Hindus and none would mind if he doesn’t become a Hindu. All one expects of a state’s Chief Minister is able administration,
non-partisan rule, maintaining law and order, overall development and good governance. Siddaramaiah has failed on all counts and his ‘I too am a Hindu’ claim will not absolve him of his misdeeds.