Union Minister Anantkumar Hegde kicks up row with remarks on secularism

Union Minister Anantkumar Hegde  

Union Minister of State for Employment and Skill Development Anantkumar Hegde on Sunday kicked up a storm by describing “secular people” as those who do not have an identity of their parental blood.

Asking people to identity themselves with their religion and caste rather than being secular, he said the Constitution too would change in accordance with such thinking. “We are here to change the Constitution,” he said at a function organised by the Brahmana Yuva Parishat and women’s organisation at Kukkanur in Yelburga taluk of Koppal district.

“Those claiming to be secular and progressive do not have an identity of their parents and their blood. One will get self-respect through such identity,” he said. “I will be happy if someone identifies as Muslim, Christian, Brahmin, Lingayat or Hindu. But trouble will arise if they say they are secular.”

'Constitution needs to be changed from time to time'

The Minister pointed out that the Constitution has undergone changes from time to time. “The Constitution needs to be changed from time to time and we have come for that,” he said.

Referring to those criticising religious customs and traditions by referring to the ‘Manu Smriti’, he said the text had become outdated and at present, ‘Ambedkar Smriti’ was being talked about. “Progressive thinkers do not know about history, tradition and culture. Those who themselves have erred are trying to blame others for their mistakes,” he said.

His remarks have been opposed by progressive thinkers and groups in different parts of the State. Members of the Students’ Federation of India staged a protest in Koppal, condemning the comments.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah took serious exception to the remarks, saying they do not befit Mr. Hegde’s position as Union Minister.

Mr. Siddaramaiah told reporters that Mr. Hegde lacked culture and parliamentary language. “He should not hold even the post of panchayat member,” he said.

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Printable version | May 6, 2021 12:46:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/hegde-kicks-up-a-fresh-row-with-remarks-on-secularism/article22271584.ece

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