If IT-BT Becomes Communal: Kiran Mazumdar Shaw ‘s Tweet to Basavaraj Bommai

Series of episodes exclusively targeting Muslims has deeply polarized the state and caused deep anxiety in the Muslim community.

Communal

The increasing communal polarisation and targeting of minorities is beginning to affect various other trade sectors too. Today, Biocon chief Kiran Mazumdar Shaw flagged concern on the growing religious divide in the state over various issues, including the hijab row.

In her tweet, she had tagged Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, addressing her concerns. “Karnataka has always forged inclusive economic development and we must not allow such communal exclusion- If ITBT became communal it would destroy our global leadership. @BSBommai please resolve this growing religious divide,”.

Responding to people who reacted to her message to the BJP-ruled government in Karnataka, she tweeted, “Our CM (Chief Minister) is a very progressive leader. I am sure he will resolve this issue soon.”

Shaw’s comments have come in the wake of series of communally charged episodes of targetting of muslims in the state.

BJP MLC Vishwanath Slams the Ban on Muslim Traders in Karnataka

The hijab controversy has put the state on simmer since January. The state HC ruling on the Hijab controversy has given more support to the Karnataka govt order stating that Hijab is not an essential part of Islam forcing Muslim girls to remove Hijab before they enter the schools. This has deeply polarized the state and caused deep anxiety in the muslim community.

As if this was not enough, Hindu right wing elements are forcing Muslim shopkeepers and vendors to keep away from the temple areas during the temple fairs. This has severely hit the economic prospects of communities hit by covid pandemic.

BJP leader Amit Malviya, however, did not take Shaw’s appeal well and tweeted, “It is unfortunate to see people like Kiran Shaw impose their personal, politically coloured opinion, and conflate it with India’s leadership in the ITBT sector. Rahul Bajaj once said something similar for Gujarat, it is today a leading automobile manufacturing hub. Go figure…”

There have been several voices of concern regarding this increasing attempts of communal polarisation by BJP and its organisations affiliated to it. Lately former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy also slammed the CM Basavaraj Bommai for acting as puppet at the hands of RSS and letting Karnataka be a playing field for right wing elements.

Two of Karnataka BJP legislators have termed as “wrong”, “undemocratic” and “madness” the restrictions being placed on Muslim traders from participating in temple festivals in parts of the state at the behest of pro-Hindutva groups.

The remarks by A H Vishwanath, an MLC, and Anil Benake, an MLA, came in the wake of some temples in Udupi and Shivamogga barring Muslim traders from participating in the festivals following demands by groups like VHP, Hindu Jagarana Vedike, Bajrang Dal and Sree Rama Sene. Such calls are now being raised in other parts of the state as well.

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