The Raichur District Principal and Sessions Judge Mallikarjun Gowda is now facing flak from all corners for his undignified attitude and refusal to participate in the Republic Day event if the portrait of B. R. Ambedkar was not removed.
While he is being trolled on social media platforms for the incident and people are demanding action against the judge, many activists have expressed anger over the incident.
The incident happened during the Republic Day function in Raichur on Wednesday. The organizers had kept the portrait of Ambedkar along with Mahatma Gandhi. Judge Gowda, who participated in the function, refused to pay floral tribute to the portrait. He demanded the removal of the portrait of Ambedkar. Only after the removal, he resumed the event.
“ Such unfortunate incidents are taking place because of the active anti-democratic and communal forces in the society”, remarked Retired High Court Judge of Karnataka, H. N. Nagamohan Das.
In his reaction to the incident, Das told gaurilankeshnews.com that the incident clearly depicts the lack of knowledge and understanding of the judge. “ I vehemently condemn the action of the judge. However it is disheartening that such people are in the judiciary. While some people display their hatred towards Ambedkar discreetly some do it openly”, he said.
He said that the judges too come from the same society. They join the judiciary by carrying all such filth present in the society. “ But it does not mean that all have such dirty thinking. Only a small section is like that and they cause some sporadic incidents”, he said.
He stated that public opinion is the only remedy for such incidents. Advocates should hold deep discussions about it. Such incidents should also come for discussion in the judiciary. “ The veterans in the field should educate their colleagues. They should guide them in the right manner”, Das said.
Some people want to change the Constitution, some even burnt the copy of it. While some bowed before the Constitution but they later backstabbed it. “All such things are happening only because anti-democratic forces, communal forces, corporate Forces are actively working”, he lamented.
He opined that people should raise their voices against such incidents.
Sharing his view, senior advocate, noted activist, and Former Chairman of Karnataka Backward Classes Commission C. S. Dwarkanath regretted that even the district level judge such as Gowda has not read the Constitution properly.
“ Ambedkar was one the greatest Constitution experts. The world knows that he was the main architect of the Indian Constitution. Is this simple fact not known to the Judge?. Moreover it is the direction of the government to place a portrait of Ambedkar during the Republic Day function. The judge should have kept at least this direction in mind, he said.
He said that it is a matter of worry that people with such a mindset have become Judges. “ I am not saying that one should be in favor of Ambedkar itself, however before having any view about Ambedkar, one should first learn and study about him. No one should carry with a prejudiced mind. Now, think what kind of judgments they deliver with such a prejudiced mind about Ambedkar”, he wondered.
Veteran writer, Rahmat Tarikere said that the Raichur incident is just a small representation of intolerance-filled people functioning in the judiciary for Dalits, Minorities, Women and Tribal communities.
He said that he was hearing stories from his advocate friends about hate and prejudice for a certain section of the society in judiciary. “ I felt so shocked and sad after hearing such reality from advocates”.
Writer, B. M. Basheer said that the judges of Rajasthan High Court gave silent approval to the installation of statue of Manu at the premises of the Court.
“ When the judges kept quiet and allowed the installation of the statue of Manu, the book Manu Smriti was burnt by Ambedkar, then no surprise a judge refused to garland the portrait of Ambedkar”, he remarked.