Bengaluru: With Biocon chief Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw requesting him to resolve “growing religious divide” in Karnataka, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Thursday called upon all sections of society to observe restraint before going public on social issues, as they can be resolved through discussions.
He said Karnataka is known for peace and progress and sought cooperation from everyone in maintaining it, as Mazumdar-Shaw, while pointing out that the State has always forged inclusive economic development, expressed worry that if IT/ BT sectors became communal it would destroy its global leadership.
“Karnataka has always forged inclusive economic development and we must not allow such communal exclusion- If ITBT became communal it would destroy our global leadership. @BSBommai please resolve this growing religious divide,” she said.
Her tweet was in response to incidents of denial of permission to non-Hindu traders and vendors to carry on business around temples during annual temple fairs and religious events in some parts of the state.
Responding to a question on the tweet, Bommai said, “Several issues have come up for discussion in the State, the issue on uniform for students has been decided by the High Court. On other issues my appeal to those concerned is that we have been leading our lives all these years, based on our beliefs. Everyone should cooperate in maintaining peace and order.”
“Karnataka is known for peace and progress, and every one should observe restraint and see to it that it is not affected. When social issues arise, there is a possibility for us to discuss and resolve it.
So before going public, everyone should observe restraint,” he added.
Initially, banners were placed during the annual Kaup Marigudi festival in Udupi district, which said non-Hindu vendors and traders should not be allowed entry, and the temple management paid heed to the request of certain pro-Hindu organisations.
Later, similar banners were displayed at Padubidri temple festival also, and at a couple of temples in Dakshina Kannada district as well.
Some Hindu activists have submitted memoranda to officials in different parts of the State citing the Karnataka Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments Act, 1997.
When the matter came up in the Legislative Assembly recently, the BJP government sought to distance itself from it by citing a rule which states that no property, including land, building near the place of worship shall be leased to non-Hindus.
Also, recently some right-wing groups have given a call to boycott halal meat, ahead of ‘varshadodaku’, the day after Ugadi when many communities in the state have a non-vegetarian feast.
BJP national general secretary C T Ravi on Tuesday called halal food “economic jihad”.