Dalit thinker Narayan Manur said on Monday that the State Government was trying to change the food habits of people by bringing in the Anti-Cow Slaughter law.

Mr. Manur was speaking at the Constitution Protection Day function to mark the 54th death anniversary of the Father of Constitution B.R. Ambedkar, organised by the Karnataka Dalit Sangharsha Samiti (B. Krishnappa) here.

Mr. Manur said the Government move to dictate the food habits of the people smacked of an upper caste bias.

When there were reports that Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa would lose power, swamijis of various maths came out on the streets in his support. “These swamijis have time to support a tainted Chief Minister. But they do not have any time for Dalits who suffer discrimination daily,” he said.

Both the Dalit movement and the farmers' movement had taken birth in the State in 1970s. When these movements began to champion their causes with great vigour, the ruling class felt threatened.

The caste system was so strong that even among the lower castes, people of one lower caste did not want to marry a person of another lower caste. Many people of lower castes did not want to identify themselves with their own caste. The concept of equality came to India only because of British rule. Yet 63 years after Independence, almost all important posts in the country were held by upper castes.

It was essential for the Dalit organisations to follow the ideals of B.R. Ambedkar. “It is only when all factions of Dalit organisations come together that they can achieve their goals,” Mr. Manur said.

Louis Lobo, president of Udupi unit of Karnataka Christa Sanghagala Antarashtriya Okkoota, said the State Government had passed the Anti-Cow Slaughter Bill to keep the minority communities in control.

District DSS Convener Shekhar Hejmady, Kundapur taluk DSS convener Mohanchandra Kalavara, and social worker Janardhan Bhandarkar were present.

A separate function was organised by the DSS (Ambedkarwada). Tahsildar V. Prasanna, convener of Mysore Division of the Samiti Sundar Master, Dalit leaders Sundar Gujjarbettu, S.S. Prasad and Manjunath Giliyar were present.

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