Protests were held in various parts of Karnataka today, demanding that Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai withdraw his statement justifying the sectarian violence in the name of ‘moral policing’.
In Bangalore a huge protest was held at Mysore bank with more than 500 people participating. Representatives of Muslim-Women-Dalit-Christian-Youth-LGBTQIA organizations participated.
Protests also happened in Bijapur, Davanagere, Koppal District Hq and Gangavathi, Kanakaigiri Taluks, Raichur District Hq and Sindhanoor, Manavi, Lingasur, Maski, Udupi, Nelamangala and Heggadadevanakote
Gangavathi, Koppal and Kanakagiri submitted a memorandum @BSBommai avare
AVARIGU komuvadha beda anthe#StopCommunalGoondagiri#StopHateSpreadLove#ದ್ವೇಷಸಾಕುಪ್ರೀತಿಬೇಕು#ಮತೀಯಗೂಂಡಾಗಿರಿನಿಲ್ಲಿಸಿ pic.twitter.com/f7FiZMTqBU
— ನಾವು ಭಾರತೀಯರು Naavu Bharathiyaru (@peopleofindiaka) October 21, 2021
In Bidar, members of APCR and other Human Rights Organization met the DC and submitted a memorandum. Mangalore representatives of civil society organizations met the DC, had a lengthy discussion with him on the communal situation and submitted a memorandum.
Several people addressed the gathering in Bangalore. Slogans such as “Dwesha Saaku, Preeti Beku”,(Enough Hate, Need Love) “Kolegaduka Sri Ram Sene yannu nishedisi”(Ban Murderous Sri Ram Sene), “Komuvaada Aliyali(Banish Communalism)” , “Souhaardate Uliayli( Save Harmony) ”, “Goondagiri maaduttiruva Bajrang Dalakke Dikkara”(Shame on Goonda Bajrag Dal), “AlpaSankhyati Virodhi, Dalita Virodhi, Mahila Virodhi BJP ge Dikkara( Shame on Anti-Minority, Anti Women and Anti Dalit BJP) ” reverberated across the circle.
Students from AICUF, AISA, KVS and SIO spoke passionately defending their right to choose their friends and partners. The students expressed their concerns about the spread of hate and said that the youth expected the government to take care of their concerns and not stay silent when goons kept attacking students who formed friendships across the walls of caste, religion and gender. They said that they would fight to ensure that the government upheld the core values of the Constitution.
Leaders of Karnataka Slum Janandolana, Slum Janara Sanghatane, Dalit Samara Sene and Dalit-Minority Sene also addressed the gathering. They condemned the government for the attacks on Dalits and Minorities. They questioned the lack of action on killings in the name of caste. They said they want to remind the CM that he took his oath in the name of the constitution and he is duty bound to uphold the same. They questioned how a government which is perpetuating untouchability can even speak of morality. Leaders of AICCTU also spoke of how post-Covid people are struggling with hunger and unemployment and instead of addressing these issues, the government wants to fill the minds of people with hate. They said that the working class will not allow the BJP to divide people and they will fight against the spread of hate.
— vinaysreenivasa ವಿನಯ (@vinaysreeni) October 21, 2021
Leaders from Jamaat-E-Islami Hind, Forward Trust and others expressed their anger and anguish at the particular targeting of minorities. They shared that the Muslim community is deeply pained at the brutal beheading of Arbaaz Mulla and asked if its an offence or sin to love? The violence they said is leading to a segregation of minorities and is impacting their sense of dignity and their livelihoods. They vowed to work for an India that assures all its citizens dignity, peace and equality.
Christian institutions being targeted only to Stoke communal agenda pic.twitter.com/SeH97jmoS2
— Ashirvad Social concern (@AshirvadSocial) October 21, 2021
Post-Covid, malnutrition has soared, there has been no survey of that but why suddenly a survey of churches questioned the leaders of the Christian community who participated in the protest. They said that the bogey of conversion was repeatedly being used to unfairly target the Christian community. They expressed their apprehension that the anti-conversion bill which is in the offing combined with the survey will lead to targeted violence of the Christian community.
One of the central aspects of the goondagiri in the name of moral-policing is the attack on women’s agency. This was loudly condemned by activists of JMS, AIPWA , Savitri Bai Phule Mahila Sanghatane. The women’s activists stressed how every woman has the right to choose their friends, their life-partners, what they wear and whom they travel with. In seeking to attack inter-caste and inter-faith couples, the Hindutva organizations sought to portray women as property of the men of their community. They stressed that this will not be tolerated and that they will ensure that hard-fought rights of women are not snatched away by the Manuvaadi government and its goon affiliates.
Members of LGBTQIA communities who have faced severe policing of their choices spoke about the increasing barriers to love and social relationships in this environment of sectarian violence. They vowed to resist this onslaught of violence and hatred.
Delegation meets Home Minister.
In Bangalore, a delegation from the protest venue met the Home Minister Shri Araga Jnanendra and demanded action against the rising attacks on Minorities, Dalits and Women. The delegation also demanded that the CM withdraw his statement and ensure that the constitutional rights of all residents of Karnataka are upheld. The Home Minister, when pressed, assured that the government would take action against all persons indulging in any form of violence irrespective of their religion. On a demand from the delegation, he also assured that instructions will be issued to this effect. A copy of the memorandum that was submitted is attached with this release. The demands are extracted and placed at the end of the release.
The following were the demands submitted to the Government –
a. The aforesaid statements made by the CM be immediately withdrawn and a public apology be issued forthwith.
b. The State Government undertakes to uphold the Constitution and ensure that action will be taken to prevent and punish crimes in the name of religion and caste.
c. Ensure that the directions in Tehseen Poonawalla vs Union of India are strictly complied with.
d. The directions laid down by the Supreme Court in Shakti Vahini v. Union of India are complied with.
e. The State Government undertakes to comply with the Supreme Court’s directions to protect inter-caste and inter-faith marriages and publicize the steps that have been taken to combat violence, honour killings and “moral policing” against such persons.