Bengaluru

AHINDA philosophy can combat Hindutva, says Siddaramaiah

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah speaking at a session of the international conference on Dr. B.R. Ambedkar in Bengaluru on Sunday.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah speaking at a session of the international conference on Dr. B.R. Ambedkar in Bengaluru on Sunday.  

AHINDA (Kannada acronym for minorities, backward classes and Dalits) as a socio-political philosophy can be used as a tool to prevent youths from backward classes and Dalit communities from joining the Hindutva brigade, said Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Sunday.

He was in conversation with a panel of activists and writers on the third and final day of the international convention on Dr. B.R. Ambedkar here.

Referring to the communal cauldron in Dakshina Kannada district, he said the Sangh Parivar had misled youngsters from backward communities, and those killed or arrested were mostly from these communities. “There are some elements within the system, like the police, who support the Hindutva ideology. This is a reality we have to accept. But our government is committed to ensuring social harmony and will take on all communal elements,” he said.

Responding to criticism that many economic redistributive programmes of his government may have led to further perpetuation of caste, he said most of the schemes, such as Anna Bhagya and Krishi Bhagya, transcend caste. He said the charge of casteism was hurled by those opposed to social justice and wanting to stoke communal passion. “When people say my budgets are AHINDA budgets or call me an AHINDA leader, I take it as a compliment,” he said.

Useless rhetoric

Lamenting the nature of the caste system, he said he has accepted caste as a reality, something responsible for the socio-economic inequality and backwardness of society.

“Rhetoric about abolition of caste today may just be that. In the 12th century, social reformer Basavanna tried inter-caste marriage and we all know what happened. I think we need to first try for socio-economic equality of caste groups. Gradually, and hopefully, caste will go away,” he said.

Commenting on the caste census, he said studying the socio-economic status of caste groups was not casteism as the data would be used to devise support and development programmes for even the smallest caste groups to improve their socio-economic conditions.

The session was moderated by Kannada writer and critic Prof. Rajendra Chenni.

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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 8:47:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/ahinda-philosophy-can-combat-hindutva-says-siddaramaiah/article19337963.ece

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