At massive rally, Kurubas seek Scheduled Tribe tag

Big gathering: The crowd at the Kuruba community convention at the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre ground on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: SUDHAKARA JAIN

In a show of strength to demand Scheduled Tribe (ST) status, members of the Kuruba community, including three Ministers in Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa’s Cabinet, carried out a massive rally in the city on Sunday. Thousands of people from various districts took part in the rally held at the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre ground, off Tumakuru Road.

The rally, which was led by Niranjanandapuri Swami of Kaginele Gurupeetha, Eshwarananda Swami, and other seers, saw participation by political leaders cutting across party lines. Ministers K.S. Eshwarappa, N. Nagaraju (MTB), and R. Shankar, former Ministers A.H. Vishwanath, H.M. Revanna, and Bandeppa Kashempur, and Kurubara ST Horata Samiti president K. Virupakashappa were among those present.

Leaders of the community urged the State government to recommend to the Centre inclusion of the Kuruba community in the ST list.

Sri Niranjanandapuri Swami said the rally had received overwhelming response from the community and the fight would continue till the governments meet the demand. Prior to the rally, religious leaders had led a padayatra from Kaginele to Bengaluru to mobilise support. The 340-km padayatra started on January 15 and culminated on February 4 at Freedom Park in the city.

In his address, Mr. Vishwanath said the community meets all the parameters to be considered as a Scheduled Tribe and there was no need of an anthropological study for considering the community as ST. He urged the State government to immediately make the recommendation to the Centre.

Siddaramaiah gives it a miss

Without taking his name, Mr. Vishwanath took a dig at the former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah — a prominent leader of the community — for not taking part in the rally. He said it was unfortunate that the former Chief Minister did not take part in the event despite taking all support from the community.

Mr. Siddaramaiah had distanced himself from Kuruba stir seeking ST stag alleging that the RSS and the Sangh Parivar had a hidden agenda to divide the community. He, however, has maintained that he is not opposing the community’s demand.

Mr. Virupakshappasaid lack of political will was the reason for the delay in Kurubas in the State getting the ST tag.

Prior to the event, Mr. Eshwarappa expressed confidence about the community receiving the status. The Minister told the gathering that a delegation would meet the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister in this regard.

On behalf of the government, Revenue Minister R. Ashok received a memorandum from the organisers.

Traffic congestion

As thousands of people thronged the ground by travelling by buses and other vehicles, traffic was thrown out of gear on Tumakuru Road. People going from the city towards Nelamangala and those coming from Nelamangala side towards the city faced congestion.

Krishnaprasad, a motorist, said, “We had planned to go to Nelamangala. After crossing Jalahalli, however, we could not drive further owing to heavy traffic congestion. We spent at least 40 minutes on the road without any option. We then dropped our plan and made a U-turn.”

Diversions were made for heavy vehicles coming from Tumakuru Road towards Ballari Road.

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Printable version | Apr 11, 2021 10:39:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/at-massive-rally-kurubas-seek-scheduled-tribe-tag/article33776444.ece

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