Politics around eating beef and the sale of it scaled new heights, when a BJP leader threatened Karnataka Chief Minister S Siddaramaiah after the CM's recent statement when he said, "I will eat beef now. Who are you to question me?" Siddaramaiah's comment was aimed at fringe Hindu groups who are campaigning for a complete ban on cow slaughter in the country.
The remarks were made by SN Channabasappa, a former president of the erstwhile Shivamogga City Municipal Council, during a protest organised by the local party unit against Siddaramaiah's reported comment on beef eating last week.
"How dare you lay your hands on the neck of Gomata? You are openly saying with a dictatorial attitude that you will eat cow meat... If you have the guts, you come here and eat at Gopi Circle (in Shivamogga), then, let there be no doubt that on that day, you will be beheaded," Channabasappa said.
"... Are you playing with the emotions of Hindus? Don't do it...," Channabasappa had warned at the meeting held on Monday. The remarks were described as "a provocative statement" by Siddaramaiah in Bengaluru.
"It is a provocative statement. I will ask the police to inquire into it. If it is true, they will definitely take action," Siddarmaiah said.
Asked about state BJP leaders not reacting to such statements saying they were being made by "fringe elements", Siddaramaiah said, "BJP people are known for it. That is why we are opposing them. If I say I will eat, how will it harm majority community? Don't we eat other kinds of meat?" he told reporters.
"...food habit is an individual's choice and should be left to them; no one should interfere with it. By interfering and attacking one's rights is not correct. It is against the Constitution. It is against individual liberty, it should not be done...
"Let us inquire if he (Channabasappa) has made such statement. If he had made such statement, we may have to take action in accordance with law," Siddaramaiah said.
Shivamogga SP Ravi Channannavar said a FIR has been registered against Channabasappa for threat to the personal life of the Chief Minister. Watch the video of the speech made by Channabasappa here:
The comment by Siddaramaiah were made recently at a press conference, where the CM also took a dig at fringe right wing groups that police Indian culture. After Chanabasappa made the comments, the BJP initially denied it, but later said that he was just a worker and not a party leader. The party has demanded an explanation from him, BJP sources told reporters.
BJP state spokesperson S Prakash told The News Minute: “Why don’t you ask him? If a (leader) in a district has said something, what can we do?" Asked if the statement did not constitute a threat, Prakash said “don’t make up stories. I will not go by media reports. I will find out from him what he has said.”
Speaking to the Congress youth body to work towards communal harmony, Siddaramaiah cited the Dadri lynching case, MM Kalburgi's murder and the killing of Dalit children in Haryana and said that these incidents have "thoroughly exposed the communal and casteist agenda of the BJP and the RSS."
Political parties, scientists, scholars, authors and eminent personalities have been protesting and speaking out against the rising incidents of intolerance in India. But the BJP-led government at the Centre is hardly lending them a ear. Like Rohini Chatterji of Firstpost says, "Instead of going into a debate, it appears the voices of dissent against intolerance whether towards a certain ideology, food habits and even religion and caste, are simply being dismissed. And amid talk of development, there is a risk of losing sight of the fact that development is not just numbers."
With PTI inputs
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Updated Date: Nov 03, 2015 17:39:29 IST