CM presents awards to Teltumbde, 74 others

January 31, 2024 11:40 pm | Updated February 01, 2024 12:05 am IST - Bengaluru

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah with the awardees at Ravindra Kakshetra in Bengaluru on Wednesday. 

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah with the awardees at Ravindra Kakshetra in Bengaluru on Wednesday.  | Photo Credit: special arrangement

In a ceremony held at Ravindra Kalakshetra in Bengaluru on Wednesday, Anand Teltumbde, civil rights activist and scholar, was bestowed with the Basava Rashtriya Puraskara by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.

Reflecting on the significance of the honour, Mr. Teltumbde said: “A Kannadiga friend remarked that Karnataka would be the first to honour me before my home State. I said that Maharashtra has indeed bestowed the greatest honour by sending me to jail. I am deeply grateful to the Karnataka government for this prestigious recognition.”

Emphasising the collective effort behind his achievements, Mr. Teltumbde remarked: “This award is not merely mine, it symbolises the valour of countless faceless activists striving to enhance the human experience.”

Delving into the progressive ideals of Basavanna, the 12th-century philosopher in whose name the award is given, Mr. Teltumbde said: “Basavanna’s vachanas exude a remarkably progressive ethos, echoing the lineage of Lokayata, Buddha, and Marx. He vehemently opposed social disparities, ritualistic practices, and even the veneration of deities, while extolling the virtue of compassion.”

Despite facing legal challenges for his alleged involvement in the Bhima Koregaon case, Mr. Teltumbde expressed gratitude for being granted permission by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to attend the ceremony in Bengaluru.

Mr. Siddaramaiah, speaking at the event, said the decision of the selection committee in choosing the noted personalities is final and his government has and never will interfere in the process. He also clarified that the rumours that the State will be spending ₹24 crore to renovate Ravindra Kalakshetra is not true.

A total of 75 individuals were honoured with various awards, including the Sri Bhagawan Mahaveer Shanti National Award, T. Chowdiah National Award, and others.

No proposal on dress code in temples

Mr. Siddaramaiah said there was no proposal before the Karnataka government to impose a dress code for those entering temples. “We respect beliefs of all people. People are free to wear whatever they wish to wear,” he said.

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