Bengaluru

Rally held in support of Hamsalekha

Members of Samvidhana Samrakshana Aikyatha Samithi and activists taking out a protest rally from city railway station to Freedom Park in support of music director Hamsalekha, in Bengaluru on Friday.   | Photo Credit: MURALI KUMAR K

A group of people took out a rally on Friday in solidarity with music composer-lyricist Hamsalekha, against whom a case has been registered for allegedly “hurting sentiments of the Brahmin community”.

The protestors brought meat dishes and had a shared meal at Freedom Park as a symbolic gesture. It was held by “Samvidhana Samrakshana Samiti”, a coalition of dalit and progressive organisations on the occasion of Constitution Day.

Hamsalekha, at a programme in Mysuru, had said that while ‘upper’ caste person visiting a Dalit’s house was celebrated such as in the case of the late Pejawar Vishveshwara Teertha, the important question was if it would also work in the reverse. He had also rhetorically asked if such visitors would partake the food consumed by Dalits during the visits.

Though Hamsalekha apologised for his remarks after they were seen as criticism of the seer, who was trying to overcome the caste barrier, Basavanagudi Police registered a case against him and questioned him on Thursday. There were protests both against and in favour of Hamsalekha outside the police station.

Food culture

“Eating meat is our food culture and we will not accept any attacks on that, decrying it as inferior,” said L. N. Mukundraj, one of the organisers of the protest. The protest comes in the wake of a week-long campaign on social media.

Senior writer S. G. Siddaramaiah, condemning the ‘upper’ caste reaction to Hamsalekha’s remarks, wished Basavanna be the model for all ‘upper’ castes in the State. “Basavanna rebelled against the tyranny of the inhuman varnashrama hierarchy. Basava’s philosophy is what has guided the State and I hope will guide us in the future too,” he said.

Minister for Fisheries, Ports and Inland Transport Angara S. came to the protest venue and took the memorandum on behalf of the government. The protesters demanded cases against actor Chetan and Hamsalekha, for allegedly “hurting sentiments of the Brahmin community” , must be immediately withdrawn.

“Both cases have been registered in Basavanagudi Police Station though the comments were not made in the limits. The division is headed by members of the same community and is unfairly targeting those critical of the community. We want officials from the division transferred,” Mr. Mukundraj demanded.


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Printable version | Jan 18, 2022 4:35:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/rally-held-in-support-of-hamsalekha/article37714040.ece

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