Islam and Christianity too have practices like 'untouchability': Romila Thapar

[email protected] (CD Network)
January 22, 2015

Mangaluru, Jan 21: “We are witnessing and continuing to witness excesses of religious extremism that is encouraged by some religious groups in this country. It is becoming very difficult to advocate a secular society given the looming presence of this extremism. However, we cannot have a democracy with laws that revert back to religion,” said eminent historian and Prof Emerita at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi Prof Romila Thapar.

romila
Delivering the B V Kakkilaya Inspired Oration – 2015 on ‘Indian Society and Secularism’ organised by Hosatu, Bengaluru, M S Krishnan Memorial Trust, Bengaluru and Samadarshi Vedike, Mangaluru in association with Department of History at University College, Mangaluru here on Wednesday, she strongly advocated the need to have a new civil law in the country which was applicable to all Indian citizens rising above all religious differences. Laws that legalize a differentiated status with some being given more rights, are defective and not secular, she said, adding that the civil laws should be above the laws of a particular community.

“Being a multi-religious society, secularism should be an important component if we are to support proper democratic functioning in this country. And social justice should be an important component of a secular society. As long as we have the freedom to choose the values that should govern our society, we can choose to secularise our society. We need to redefine the secular move for India to shift the focus from co-existence of religions to equality of all people belonging to different religions,” she said.

Prof. Thapar also said that conversion to Hinduism is invented recently and the phenomenon was problematic because of the caste system. Referring to the ‘Ghar Wapsi’ campaign of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, she said that those converting into Hinduism are put through “purification”, thereby suggesting that they were from lower castes.

She said conversions were not a problem in Christianity or Islam for which it was not modern phenomenon. Pointing at the practice of untouchability, she said Islam and Christianity too had similar practices.

Prof Thapar also said that religion was a matter of faith and it was essential to speak up when it was used as an instrument of politics. Most people in India value their religion, looking at religion and worship as a personal experience. Such people also find that using religion for political purposes is not acceptable,” she said.

Former professor of History, Mangaluru University Prof B Surendra Rao introduced the keynote speaker and presided over the function. Dr Srinivas Kakkilaya and other dignitaries were present.

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coastaldigest.com news network
June 29,2024

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Mangaluru: A wave of joy and nostalgia has swept over Tulu-speaking communities in coastal Karnataka with the exciting news that Tulu is now included in Google Translate. This significant development promises to elevate the language’s popularity and recognition on a global scale, filling hearts with pride and happiness.

"The addition of Tulu to Google Translate is a monumental achievement for the language and its speakers," beamed Karnataka Tulu Sahitya Academy chairman Tharanath Gatti Kapikad.

He expressed that the community is overjoyed, believing this step will expose Tulu to a broader audience, allowing people worldwide to appreciate its richness and beauty.

"With Tulu now available on such a widely used translation platform, the coastal district anticipates a surge in interest and curiosity about our language and culture. We also hope this recognition will help bring due prominence to the language. The people of Tulunadu have long been advocating for Tulu to be included in Schedule VIII of the Constitution and to be declared an official language of Karnataka," he shared.

Kapikad noted that while the academy did not directly influence this development, the introduction of Tulu Wikipedia has also played a crucial role in garnering recognition, as there are now several articles in Tulu on the platform. He encouraged people to send feedback to Google Translate to help improve the feature further.

MLAs D Vedavyas Kamath, U Rajesh Naik, Gurme Suresh Shetty, and others also praised Google Translate for adding the language. "I express sincere gratitude to the Google team for making Tulu available alongside 110 other languages," Kamath said with heartfelt appreciation.

This moment is not just a technological advancement but a celebration of Tulu heritage, invoking memories of a rich past and hopes for a flourishing future.

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News Network
July 7,2024

Mangaluru: Dakshina Kannada district recorded 300 infant deaths between the time of birth and one year of age, with an infant mortality rate (IMR) of 10.3 in 2023-24.

According to health and family welfare department statistics, out of 29,027 live births, 180 boy and 120 girl infants died between April 2023 and March 2024.

Meanwhile, 10 pregnant women died, recording a maternal mortality rate (MMR) of 34.4 in the district in 2023-24.

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coastaldigest.com news network
July 11,2024

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Mangaluru: Two athletes from Mangaluru are gearing up to represent India at the Paris Olympics starting on July 26. Poovamma MR, a seasoned member of the Indian women’s 4x400m relay team, and Mijo Chacko Kurian, selected for the men’s 4x400m relay team, are poised to showcase their talent on the international stage.

Poovamma MR had a notable moment recently, marking her third interaction with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Reflecting on her journey, she shared with the Prime Minister that she was just 18 when she served as a reserve member for the 2008 Olympics and was part of the team again in 2016. 

Determined to break a longstanding barrier, she mentioned that the team hadn't reached the finals since 2002, but this time, they aim to create a national record and secure a spot in the finals. The Prime Minister commended her confidence and dedication.

“This was my third interaction with the PM. I met him in 2014 and 2018. Earlier, we showed him our medals, and he congratulated us. This time, he asked us questions about our experiences and aspirations. It felt wonderful,” Poovamma remarked. Currently training in Patiala, she is set to depart for a 20-day training camp in Poland before heading to Paris.

In contrast, Mijo Chacko Kurian is making his Olympic debut. His journey began in class XII when he switched from cricket to athletics upon seeing runners at the NMPT stadium while Mangala Stadium was under renovation. 

Living nearby, he approached the coach and joined the training sessions. Despite initial struggles, he balanced his studies in engineering with his growing passion for athletics. His dedication paid off, leading him to leave college after two-and-a-half years to focus fully on his athletic career. Now a junior warrant officer with the Indian Air Force, Mijo is ready to make his mark in Paris.

As these athletes prepare for their Olympic journey, their stories of perseverance and dedication inspire many back home, highlighting the vibrant sporting spirit of Mangaluru.

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