‘Are all lives not equal?’: Usman Khawaja on bizarre ICC threat amidst Gaza massacre

News Network
December 13, 2023

 

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'Australia batter Usman Khawaja became a big talking point on social media after pictures of his shoes with a pro-humanity and pro-equality slogan surfaced on social media.

Khawaja was reportedly planning to wear the shoe with the same message on Day 1 of the first Test against Pakistan in Perth, but was warned against doing so over 'ICC rules'. While Khawaja has accepted the directive, he maintains that the message written on his shoe wasn't political.

On one of Khawaja's shoes, the message read: "All lives are equal", while the other one read, "Freedom is a human right". But, had the veteran batter decided to wear the same messages in the match, he could've been suspended by ICC.

In a video that he shared on social media on the eve of the Perth Test, Khawaja stood his ground and said that he isn't taking sides in the Israel vs Hamas war but is only suggesting that all lives are equally important to him, be it that of a person Muslim, Jew or Hindu.

"What I've written on my shoes is not political," he said. "I'm not taking sides. Human life to me is equal. One Jewish life is equal to one Muslim life is equal to one Hindu life and so on. I'm just speaking up for those who don't have a voice."

Despite the word of caution from Cricket Australia, Khawaja also said that he would continue to fight for his right to express these views. "Is freedom not for everyone? Are all lives not equal?", Khawaja asked in the video.

"The ICC has told me I can't wear my shoes on the field because they feel it's a political statement under their guidelines," he said. "I don't believe it's so. It's a humanitarian appeal. I will respect their view and decision. But I will fight it and seek to gain approval," he said in the video.

"Freedom is a human right. And all lives are equal. I will never stop believing that, whether you agree with me or not," he also said.

Earlier, Australia skipper Pat Cummins had confirmed that Khawaja would not wear the statements, that he did in training, in the match against Pakistan on Thursday.

"I spoke to him just quickly and [Khawaja] said he won't be [wearing the statements]," Cummins said. "It kind of drew the attention to the ICC rules which I don't know if Uzzie was across beforehand. Uzzie doesn't want to make too big of a fuss. On his shoes, he had 'all lives are equal'. I think that's not very divisive. I don't think anyone can really have too many complaints about that.

"I think it's one of our strongest points in our team is that everyone has their own passionate views and individual thoughts and I chatted to Uzzie briefly about it today. And I don't think his intention is to make too big of a fuss, but we support him.

"I think what was on the shoes, 'all lives are equal', I support that."

Through his message, Khawaja is hoping to send a message to mankind against massacre of innocents in Palestine, even though he did not specifically mentioned about brutal Israeli aggression. 

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News Network
July 6,2024

Mangaluru: The Karnataka Development Programme (KDP) meeting chaired by district minister Dinesh Gundu Rao here on Friday, debated why Dakshina Kannada had not been sanctioned houses for the poor under various government schemes after the 2021-2022 period.

Puttur MLA Ashok Kumar Rai, raising the issue, said that although housing schemes had been sanctioned for all districts across the state, Dakshina Kannada had not been considered after 2021-22.

“It has been brought to my notice during a discussion with the housing minister, that the district has not submitted a demand for houses between 2021-22 and 2024-25,” Rai said.

When an official cited a technical reason, the minister stated that it was a serious lapse on the part of the officials. 

“There is a need for the initiation of disciplinary action against the concerned officials, because the district failed to sanction houses in the past four years, despite having government land. We cannot tolerate negligence in the implementation of the housing scheme for the poor,” the minister said. Officials informed that in the 10 years between 2010 and 2020, the district was sanctioned 64,123 houses. While 48,252 houses have been built, work on 4,898 is in progress, and the remaining are yet to be started.

Dakshina Kannada ZP CEO Anandh K said that as per a survey conducted in 2018, the district has a demand for 49,715 houses. However, no houses were sanctioned after 2022, he said.

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News Network
June 28,2024

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A day after a Vokkaliga seer publicly urged Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to step down in favour of his deputy D K Shivakumar, a prominent seer from the dominant Veerashaiva-Lingayat community on Friday called for ministers from his community to be considered if there is a change in the CM post.

Channasiddharam Swamiji of Srishail Peetham stated that if the Congress decides to change the state chief minister or create additional deputy chief minister positions, preference should be given to legislators from the Veerashaiva-Lingayat community.

Speaking to reporters at Yadur village in Chikkodi taluk, the seer emphasized that people from the Veerashaiva-Lingayat community have voted for Congress in large numbers.

"If the Congress wants to change the chief minister or create more deputy chief minister posts, community members like M B Patil, Ishwar Khandre, S S Mallikarjun, and veteran Shamnur Shivashankarappa should be considered. During the government formation, Veerashaiva-Lingayat votes were decisive. Therefore, Veerashaiva-Lingayat ministers should be given priority and their experience utilized. I urge that they be given an opportunity," he said.

Talks in this regard have been held with Kashi, Ujjani, and other seers of Panchapeethas, and there is an understanding about the chief minister's post within the Congress. The grand old party should walk the talk, he added.

On Thursday, Vishwa Vokkaliga Mahasamastana Math seer Kumara Chandrashekaranatha Swamiji had raised the pitch for Shivakumar as CM during the Kempegowda Jayanti event, which commemorates the birth anniversary of Bengaluru's founder, in the presence of both Siddaramaiah and the deputy chief minister on the dais.

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Agencies
June 29,2024

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Bengaluru: Amid raging debate over the possibility of change in Chief Minister and demand for three more deputy chief ministers in Karnataka, state Congress president D K Shivakumar on Saturday asked partymen and leaders to refrain from issuing public statements on the issue and warned of disciplinary action.

Shivakumar, who is also the Deputy Chief Minister urged partymen to "shut their mouth" in the interest of the party, as he also requested seers not to interfere in political matters.

There is growing demand within the state cabinet to have three more deputy chief ministers from Veerashaiva-Lingayat, SC/ST and minority communities. Currently, Shivakumar from the dominant Vokkaliga community is the only Deputy Chief Minister in the Siddaramaiah cabinet.

A Vokkaliga seer Kumara Chandrashekaranatha Swamiji of Vishwa Vokkaliga Mahasamastana Math on Thursday had publicly urged Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to step down and make way for his deputy Shivakumar.

Following this a Veearashaiva-Lingayat seer -- Srisaila Jagadguru Channa Siddharama Panditaradhya Swamiji on Friday said ministers from his community should be considered for the CM's post in case there is a leadership change, while also pitching for them to be given priority in the event of creation of additional Deputy CM posts.

"There is no discussion on any Deputy Chief Minister nor there is any question about the Chief Minister. Swamiji (Vokkaliga seer) out of affection towards me might have spoken about me. That's all. I request -- I don't need anyone's recommendation. For the work we have done, our party high command will decide," Shivakumar said in response to a question whether he had discussed with the high command the demand for more DCMs during the Delhi visit.

Addressing reporters here, he said, "Kharge (AICC President Mallikarjun Kharge), Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and I, in the interest of the party, have decided how to function. So there is no need for any MLA or minister or Swamiji to speak. If they (seers) bless us it's enough."

There is no need for any minister to comment on the CM or Deputy CM issue in public or before the media, Shivakumar said and warned that "if any MLA or anyone from the party raises it, the AICC or I will be forced to issue notice and take disciplinary action. Discipline is important in the party. There is nothing without discipline."

"I know the struggle that has gone to bring the party to this level, there is no need for any of them to speak now."

Responding to a query, the Deputy CM said, "In the interest of the party I'm telling everyone -- if you shut your mouth it will be good for the party."

Asked about seers interfering in politics, he said, "No swamiji had spoken other than now...I request all of them with folded hands, don't interfere in political matters."

A section within the Congress is of the opinion that the statement by the ministers seeking three more Deputy CMs was part of a plan by Siddaramaiah's camp to keep Shivakumar in check, amid talks that he might seek the CM post after two-and-half years of this government's tenure, and to counter his influence both in the government and party.

There is also a feeling that the Vokkaliga seer publicly urging Siddaramaiah to step down and make way for Shivakumar is a counter to the CM from the KPCC president's camp.

There was stiff competition between Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar for the chief minister's post after the declaration of Assembly election results in May last year, and the Congress had managed to convince the latter and made him the Deputy Chief Minister.

There were some reports back then of a compromise having been reached based on a "rotational chief minister formula", according to which Shivakumar will become CM after two-and-half years, but those have not been officially confirmed by the party.

Shivakumar has made no secret of his ambition to become the CM, while Siddaramaiah had sought public support during the Lok Sabha polls so that the Congress wins the maximum number of seats in the state, which would strengthen his position.

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