Karnataka

Action sought against Prof. Balagangadhar

Members of Dalit Sangharsh Samit staging a protest outside the Deputy Commissioner’s office in Shivamogga on Monday.— Photo: VAIDYA  

Activists of various progressive organisations staged a protest here on Monday, condemning the alleged derogatory remarks passed by S.N. Balagangadhar, professor of philosophy, against B.R. Ambedkar at a conference that had been organised at the English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU) in Hyderabad, recently.

Addressing the protest meet, M. Gurumurthy, convener of the district unit of Karnataka Dalit Sangharsh Samiti, urged the government to initiate legal proceedings against Prof. Balagangadhar on the charge of nsulting Ambedkar.

Remarks

Earlier, Prof. Balagangadhar, serving at Ghent University, Belgium, who was also associated with the Centre for Study of Local Cultures at Kuvempu University in the past, had allegedly made sweeping remarks against Ambedkar at the conference.

He had allegedly termed the teaching faculty appointed on the basis of reservation at EFLU, incompetent. Further in his personal blog, Prof. Balagangadhar had questioned the intellectual level of Ambedkar, even as his (Prof. Balagangadhar’s) remarks were casteist in tone, Mr. Gurumurthy said.

Ambedkar, hailed as architect of Indian Constitution, strived to eradicate social disparities. By insulting Ambedkar, Prof. Balagangadhar had shown disrespect to the values of equality and liberty enshrined in Indian Constitution, he said.

Mr. Gurumurthy urged the government to initiate legal proceedings against Prof. Balagangadhar for insulting a national leader and to restrain him from making such statements in future.

The protesters submitted a memorandum to the President through the Deputy Commissioner’s office. Writers Rajendra Chenni and Srikantha Kudige, and journalists Gowri Lankesh and Shrungesh, and social activist K.P. Sripal took part in the protest.The teaching and non-teaching staff of Kuvempu University staged a separate protest on its campus at Shankaraghatta, condemning Prof. Balagangadhar for his remarks.

Sannaram, a Kannada professor, said in his address that Ambedkar had struggled relentlessly for the uplift of the poor and marginalised sections of society. The comments of Prof. Balagangadhar were in bad taste and therefore unacceptable to civil society, he said.

The protesters submitted a memorandum to President of India through Vice-Chancellor Jogan Shankar, demanding legal action against Prof. Balagangadhar.

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Printable version | Apr 14, 2021 1:56:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/action-sought-against-prof-balagangadhar/article8015715.ece

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