Chandrashekar Patil warns against politics of co-option

‘Progressive people must defeat agenda of saffronisation’

The right-wing agenda of “saffronisation” has been described by writer and former chairman of Kannada Sahitya Parishat, Chandrashekar Patil, as a “ploy of the priestly class” to slowly co-opt sections of society that have refused to accept the dominance of the “upper” castes.

Speaking after receiving the Periyar Award instituted by Vicharavadigala Vedike here on Monday, Prof. Patil said that it is important for intellectuals and activists to have conceptual clarity on their goals and methods so that they do not fall into the trap of co-option.

Popularising Periyar

Periyar E.V. Ramasamy Naicker, he added, was a man who had such clarity on the concept of social reform. His ideas should be popularised in Karnataka by holding seminars and publishing books, he added.

Common aim

Prof. Patil emphasised the need for all like-minded progressive people to come together to defeat the agenda of “saffronisation” that has “taken grip of Karnataka.”

Lasting imprint

He said that it would be wrong to describe any social movement as “failed” since it always leaves an imprint on the minds of the future generation even when it does not survive in its original force.


Former MLC A.K. Subbaiah, who inaugurated the event, said that the struggle between rationalism and conservatism marked the entire history of civilisation. Intellectuals have a responsibility to keep alive the spirit of questioning alive in a society, he added.


The former Minister Lalitha Naik and the former chairperson of the Karnataka State Backward Classes Commission lamented “neo-Brahminism” of Shudra and Dalit castes, many of whom have adopted the conservative values associated with “upper” castes.


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