Karnataka

Devanooru Mahadeva questions Education Minister on his comment on freedom fighter Doreswamy

H.S. Doreswamy

H.S. Doreswamy  

Well-known writer and activist Devanooru Mahadeva has written an open letter to Primary and Secondary Education Minister S. Suresh Kumar expressing dismay over the latter’s comments on centenarian freedom fighter H.S. Doreswamy.

Defending former Union Minister and BJP MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, who has stirred a controversy by calling the Gandhian a “fake freedom fighter” who behaves like a “Pakistan agent”, Mr. Suresh Kumar had said, “If one speaks what they ought not to, they will have to hear what they ought not to.” BJP leaders have been accusing Mr Doreswamy, who has been active in anti-CAA protests, of making derogatory remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In his open letter to the Education Minister, Mr. Mahadeva has said that the utterances of the freedom fighter on the “failings” of Mr. Modi’s administration had been grossly and deliberately misconstrued to project them as derogatory. He has said in the letter that trying to suppress and silence the freedom fighter rather than have the courage to address the questions raised by him makes us “intellectual Lilliputs.”

It is unfortunate that some MLAs “let their tongues loose, while others appear to have lost their tongues” rather than take their roles as people’s representatives seriously, said Mr. Mahadeva. “There are serious issues in Mr. Yatnal’s own district of Vijayapura which has become a ‘migration capital.’ People who have voted him are leaving for Goa and Mahashtra in search of jobs. The big industrial cluster in his district is empty because with no basic facilities like power to run it. A people’s representative from such a region should have been busy setting these things right, with little time left to speak of other things. But MLAs have become irresponsible, while people who have voted them to power and ought to remind them have become indifferent,” rued the writer.

“They say that bad fruits in a basket spoil the good ones too. This saying came to my mind on seeing your statement about Mr. Doreswamy,” Mr. Mahadeva has said in conclusion in the open letter.

Following comments of Mr. Yatnal about Mr. Doreswamy, several BJP leaders and minister have jumped to the defence of the former. Opposition Congress and JDS have strongly condemned Mr. Yatnal and demanded an apology from him. However, Mr. Yatnal has said that he stands by his statements and would not apologise.

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Printable version | Mar 28, 2020 2:21:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/devanooru-mahadeva-questions-education-minister-on-his-comment-on-freedom-fighter-doreswamy/article30961990.ece

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