On ‘Day of Democracy’, Karnataka CM sounds alert against attempt to implement ‘Manusmriti’

News Network
September 15, 2023

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Bengaluru, Sept 15: The Karnataka government on Friday organised a mega event of reading the Constitution's preamble as part of the 'International Day of Democracy' celebrations with tens of lakhs of people participating in the programme from India and abroad at the same time.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiaha led the celebrations, along with Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar and several other guests, by reading the preamble -- "We, the People of India, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a Sovereign Democratic Republic and to secure to all its citizens....," in Kannada from the grand steps of 'Vidhan Soudha' here with a large number of school students and others in front of them joining in unison.

In June, the Karnataka government made it mandatory for all students of schools and colleges, whether government, aided or private, to read the preamble daily. It also made it compulsory to have a portrait of the preamble of the Constitution put up at all government and semi-government offices in the state.

Addressing the gathering, Siddaramaiah said the government has fulfilled four of the five 'guarantees' (pre-poll promises of the Congress) and "walked the talk".

"Protection of the Constitution is the duty of every citizen Our Constitution opens with We the people of India. If the wishes of the Constitution are not effectively understood and followed, it is not possible to build an equal society," the chief minister said.

As per the aspiration of the Constitution which calls for equal society and highlights secular principles, Siddaramaiah said his government has implemented schemes for the prosperity of all and their purpose was to return money back to the public to improve their lives.

"Our government has implemented programmes for the prosperity of all, as per the aspirations of equal society and secular principle of the Constitution," he said.

The chief minister said anti-Constitutional forces are trying to destroy the Constitution and implement Manusmriti again. He called on the state to be alert and aware about this.

"Destroying the Constitution and enforcing Manusmriti means 90% Indians will be forced back into slavery," he said and warned that a lot of conspiracies are going on for this.

Siddaramaiah said that after the adoption of the Constitution, the democratic system was officially implemented in India.

"The democratic system has been formed in our land since the time of Buddha and Basavanna (12th-century social reformer) The debates held in the Parliament during the promulgation of the Constitution seem to reflect the importance of our Constitution and the mindset of the opponents of the Constitution," the chief minister added.

Social Welfare Minister H C Mahadevappa, and several other Ministers and Chief Secretary Vandita Sharma also attended the event.

Mahadevappa had said on Wednesday that nearly 2.28 crore people from all walks of life within the country and abroad, have registered to read the Constitution's preamble.

"From within the country and abroad, 2, 27, 81,894 people have made online registration. We had expected 5 or 10 lakh people to register, but this has become a movement," Mahadevappa had said.

He had said that those from corporate, private, government and banking sectors, people from industries and NRIs from several countries have come forward to participate, and have registered.

"The intention is to make people, especially the youth, understand the idea of the democracy and the Constitution, and thereby they know the main purpose of the preamble, to lead a life with dignity, freedom and equality," Mahadevappa added.

The Social Welfare department had said that anyone who wants to read the Constitution on the same day (September 15) and at the same time of the main event, and get a participation certificate issued by the Government of Karnataka, needs to register.

On September 15, they can upload a video or picture of them reading the preamble, upon which they will be approved to download participation certificates from the same website, it said.

The minister spoke about the importance of making it mandatory to read the preamble at all formal functions of the state government, besides all schools, colleges and educational institutions.

Meanwhile, in view of the mega event, Bengaluru Traffic Police also issued an advisory suggesting diversion of vehicles to ensure smooth flow of traffic.

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News Network
June 20,2024

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Bengaluru: Karnataka BJP on Thursday held "Cycle Jatha" here, as part of its state-wide protest against the Congress government's decision to hike petrol and diesel prices.

BJP workers and leaders led by its state President B Y Vijayendra sought to mark their protest by riding bicycles from the party's state office 'Jagannath Bhavan' to 'Vidhana Soudha'.

However, the police stopped the protesters mid-way, detained Vijayendra and others and whisked them away in a bus.

Former Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwathnarayan and MLC C T Ravi were among the leaders who participated in the protest shouting slogans against the state government, which last week hiked sales tax on fuel making petrol and diesel costlier by Rs 3 and Rs 3.5 per litre, respectively.

Speaking to reporters, Vijayendra said BJP is holding protests across the state in all the district and talk centres by blocking roads, against the government's decision to increase the prices, and urged the Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to roll it back.

"In Bengaluru by organising Cycle Jatha, the party has tried to warn the state government, but this adamant government is not even thinking about rolling back price hike. The Chief Minister is citing higher prices in neighboring states, but our state is in distress, farmers are in distress due to drought, in such a situation the decision to put more burden on the common man is an unpardonable sin," he said.

"I urge the Chief Minister to rollback the hike immediately and no decision should be taken that causes burden to farmers and common man," Vijayendra said, noting that Ministers have also said that bus fare will also be hiked, and water tariffs increased in Bengaluru in the future.

"This government has become a curse to the people of the state," he added.

Reacting to Home Minister G Parameshwara's reported indirect caution to the BJP that the police may resort to caning to disperse anyone who tries to cause inconvenience to the public in the name of protests, the state BJP chief called it "height of foolishness."

"BJP and its workers will not fear for lathis and will raise their voice for the sake of people and farmers of the state. The Home Minister is speaking out of arrogance of power, we will not fear such things, our fight will continue until the government withdraws its decision," he said.

Similar protests have been reported from Belagavi, Mysuru, Mandya, Shivamogga, Hubballi and Haveri among other places. Belagavi MP Jagadish Shettar and Haveri MP Basavaraj Bommai, both former Chief Ministers, too participated in protests in Belagavi and Davangere, respectively.

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News Network
June 16,2024

In a move indicative of further saffronisation of Indian textbooks, the new NCERT Class 12 Political Science textbook has removed the name of the historic Babri Masjid, referring to it instead as a "three-domed structure." The section on the demolition of the mosque by Hindu nationalist mobs has been reduced from four to two pages, with significant details omitted.

According to the Indian Express, the revised parts include the BJP rath yatra from Somnath in Gujarat to Ayodhya, the role of kar sevaks, anti-Muslim violence following the demolition on December 6, 1992, the imposition of President’s rule in BJP-ruled states, and the BJP’s expression of “regret over the happenings at Ayodhya.”

The old textbook described the Babri Masjid as a 16th-century mosque built by Mughal emperor Babur’s General Mir Baqi. The new version, released this week, refers to it as "a three-dome structure built at the site of Shri Ram’s birthplace in 1528," and claims it had visible displays of Hindu symbols and relics.

The new textbook also praises the 2019 Supreme Court ruling on the Ayodhya dispute, despite criticisms from legal experts and Muslim leaders. The chapter describes the ruling as a 'classic example' of consensus, stating:

“The verdict allotted the disputed site to the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust for the construction of a Ram temple and directed the government to provide an appropriate site for the construction of a mosque for the Sunni Central Waqf Board. This resolution through the due process of law, based on archaeological and historical evidence, was celebrated by society. It exemplifies consensus building on a sensitive issue and showcases the maturity of India's democratic ethos.”

The changes in the textbook have sparked controversy, with critics viewing them as an attempt to rewrite history and promote a particular ideological narrative.

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News Network
June 10,2024

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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cabinet in his historic third term will retain the known faces in the big four ministries - Amit Shah will retain the Home portfolio, Rajnath Singh Defence, Foreign ministry will be retained by S Jaishankar and the Finance ministry by Nirmala Sitharaman. 

The Prime Minister himself will handle the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, the Department of Atomic Energy and the Department of Space.

Many of the ministers have been retained with their last jobs in the interest of continuity as well. Among them is Nitin Gadkari, who will retain the Road Transport and Highways ministry with two juniors under him -- Ajay Tamta and Harsh Malhotra. The 67-year-old has been the longest serving minister in the department and has been credited with the building of construction of more than 54,858 km of national highways over the last 10 years.

Piyush Goyal has retained the Commerce portfolio.

JP Nadda, the health minister in PM Modi's first cabinet, has been brought back with the same portfolio. He has also been given additional charge of the Chemicals and Fertilisers department.

The plum portfolios of I&B and railways will be handled by Ashwini Vaishnaw. The Civil Aviation Ministry has changed hands from Jyotiraditya Scindia to TDP's Ram Mohan Naidu, the youngest minister in the cabinet. Mr Scindia has been put in charge of the Telecom ministry.

Two former Chief Ministers from the key BJP states of Haryana and Madhya Pradesh, who have been brought to the Centre, have been allocated significant responsibility. Manohar Lal Khattar will handle two key ministries -- Power and Housing and Urban Affairs. For the first, he would have the assistance of junior minister Shripad Naik, for the second, Tokhan Sahu, the first-time minister from Chhattisgarh.

Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the four-time Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, will handle the key ministry of Agriculture, and the related Farmers Welfare and Rural Development ministries.

Former Minister for Earth Sciences and Food Processing, Kiren Rijiju, has been put in charge of Parliamentary Affairs, previously handled by Pralhad Joshi. Mr Joshi has been moved to the Food, Consumer Affairs and Renewable Energy department.

CR Paatil will be in charge of Jal Shakti ministry and Bhupendra Yadav, Environment. Giriraj Singh has been shifted to Textiles -- a department handled by Smriti Irani. Annapurna Devi will be in charge of the other portfolio handled by Ms Irani -- Women & Child Development. Mansukh Mandavia has been put in charge of Labour and Employment and Sports and Youth Affairs.

Ravneet Singh Bittu -- the grandson of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh who was assassinated in 1995 -- will be the junior minster for food processing and railways. Mr Bittu has lost the election from Ludhiana and will have to get a seat in either house of parliament within the next six months.

Among allies, former Bihar Chief Minister and HAM chief Jitan Ram Manjhi will have charge of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises with Shobha Karandlaje as the Minister of State.

South ally and Janata Dal Secular chief HD Kumaraswamy has been put in charge of the Heavy Industries and Steel portfolios.

Key Bihar ally and LJP chief Chirag Paswan has been given charge of the Food Processing department.

Among the Ministers of State with Independent Charge, Dr Jitendra Singh is expected to be the busiest. A third-time Union minister from Jammu and Kashmir, he has been put in charge of multiple portfolios -- Science and Technology, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Department of Atomic Energy, Department of Space and the Prime Minister's Office.

Arjun Ram Meghwal will have Independent charge of for Law and Justice and will also be the junior minister for Parliamentary Affairs.

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