(G.N.S) Dt. 27
Speaks about a “Karnataka model of development” and criticises forces trying to take India down the route of “religious nationalism.”
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah delivered a politically-loaded Republic Day message to the State on Friday, speaking about a “Karnataka model of development” and criticising the forces trying to take the country down the route of “religious nationalism”.
He obliquely hit out at Union Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Anantkumar Hegde for his recent statement that the BJP could change the Constitution. The Minister had to later apologise for his remarks in the Lok Sabha. “Recently, there have been demands for changing our Constitution. All democrats should condemn this in a united voice. I will also join in this condemnation,” Mr. Siddaramaiah said. “Participating in parliamentary democracy with differences with our Constitution is not only [a mark of] disrespect to the Constitution but also adverse to our democracy.”
Positioning himself as a “Constitutionalist”, Mr. Siddaramaiah declared that the Constitution was his dharma and realising its ideals his “raja dharma”.
He also came down heavily on the “growing intolerance” in the country. “It is impossible to build this country on the principles of religious nationalism. Debate over growing intolerance has taken centre stage and has been opposed by every individual trying to build the nation on the ideals of democracy and the Constitution. But these voices are being silenced. The move to denigrate, abuse and humiliate them is not the democratic way,” he said.
With the Assembly elections in the State approaching, Mr. Siddaramaiah also spoke about of a Karnataka model of development, linking it to B.R. Ambedkar’s appeal to work for socio-economic equality. “We have provided the basic necessities of the last man — food, health, education, housing and employment — through various ‘Bhagya’ schemes. We have created an environment where every person, irrespective of wealth, religion or caste, can live fearlessly with dignity and respect,” he said.
Governor Vajubhai Rudhabhai Vala, too, voiced similar sentiments in his speech, after he hoisted the tricolour at Field Marshal Manekshaw Parade Grounds. “We have to establish peace and harmony among all, spreading the message of ‘unity in diversity’ to the whole world. We should strive for consolidation and solidarity of national unity,” he said.
The remarks come in the wake of communal tension in coastal Karnataka.
The Republic Day celebrations in the city were marked by cultural pageantry by schoolchildren and a motorcycle gymnast display by ‘Shwet Ashw’ of the Corps of Military Police (CMP). The Shwet Ashw team was led by Sub (MP) N.K. Tiwari, who has been performing with the team for 20 years.
Kalaripayattu, a Kerala-based martial art, performed by the Madras Regimental Centre, Willington, Tamil Nadu, drew much applause.
Two groups of over 650 students each performed dance pageantries to a medley of patriotic Kannada songs, among which one was dedicated to the Father of Indian Constitution, B.R. Ambedkar. ‘Punya Bhoomi Bharata,’ performed by over 650 students from Government High School, Chikkabidarakallu, Bengaluru North, won the first prize, while ‘Navu Prachanda Bharateeyaru, Vishala Hrudayadavaru’, performed by 682 students from Government Model Higher Primary School, Hoodi, and Florence Public School, Basavanna Nagara, won the second prize.
(G.N.S) Dt. 27