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TSI

''No truck with ram sena''

 

A peaceful and tolerant state is heading in a different direction now. In the wake of the recent attack on women in a Mangalore pub, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa spoke exclusively to K Raghav Sharma of TSI. Some excerpts…
TSI | Issue Dated: February 15, 2009
Tags : Karnataka Chief Minister | BS Yeddyurappa | K Raghav Sharma | hooliganism | Hindu groups | Law and order | systematic efforts | Congress | by-elections | Bharatiya Janata Party | stringent measures | Home Minister | VS Acharya | Fundamentalist groups | Sri Rama Sene | Bajrang Dal | nefarious activities | barbarism | Muthalik | scandalous behaviour | sturdy actions | indispensable | police inactiveness | political will | Central Women Commission | indecent culture | Datt Peetha dispute | Komu Souharda Vedike | pro-Muslim group | patriotism | national integration | Terrorism Prevention Campaign | Belgaum | flimsy statements |
 
''No truck with ram sena'' After BJP came to power in Karnataka, hooliganism by Hindu groups has enormously increased. Law and order, especially in Mangalore, is deteriorating day by day…

Whatever happened in Karnataka in the past is the result of systematic efforts by Congress and JD(S) to mislead the people. Although we are working for the state’s development, the opposition is against it. Recently, for the first time in the history of Karnataka, I called a meeting with the investors for developing the state’s highways and village roads. We plan to start the work within two months. Congress’ embarrassing defeat in the by-elections has made it tough for them. They are misleading the people by giving the Bharatiya Janata Party a bad name. In the Mangalore pub case, within the eight hours after the incident, 13 culprits were arrested and stringent measures were taken. Home Minister VS Acharya himself visited the place to control the situation.

Fundamentalist groups like ‘Sri Rama Sene’ or ‘Bajrang Dal’ have got the freedom and power to act on their own and some of the recent incidents are evidence to that. Although they are causing extensive damage to the society, the people in Mangalore complain that your government has remained mum.

First, I want to clarify that ‘Sri Rama Sene’ has no link with the BJP. Secondly, I will not tolerate if anyone takes law in their own hands. If they are in a hurry to get publicity through illegal or nefarious activities, it’s better that they shed such ideas. Our government will not allow such barbarism. The leaders of the groups better understand this.

But we know that Muthalik of Sri Rama Sene and you are from the same school of thought.

Do not dwell on the past. I had contact with Muthalik but the comparison would not be applicable now. I’m again elucidating that neither we nor Bharatiya Janatha Parivara has anything to do with them. In the recently held Assembly elections in Karnataka, they stood against us. The incident is shocking and Muthalik’s scandalous behaviour is condemnable. Who are they to take law in their own hands or attack women?

Banning Sri Rama Sene is not the ultimate remedy, you have said. But in Karnataka there are various groups infamous for hooliganism and people are anxious. So, by banning a group, why don’t you send a strong message to them?

I’m not going to ban Sri Rama Sena. It is rather more important to implement restrictions and take sturdy actions. I have done the same in the Mangalore incident. Banning is not the solution, but if it becomes indispensable, I will surely reconsider that.

Most of the times, in the case of law and order in Karnataka, Acharya’s and yours statements were contradictor.Do you people lack coordination? No. We never gave contradictory statements. We always put forward the truth in the front of media and the people. Then what would you say on the various differing statements published in the media?

It’s pure misconception.

Three days after the Mangalore episode, Muthalik told the media, “Although the local people complained to police about the immoral activities inside the pub, they kept mum instead of reacting. That is why we attacked the pub to stop those perverse activities.’. Is it true that the police were inactive even when the people complained?

Since I came to office, our government has honestly worked to control the immoral activities. Beating women and manhandling them, injuring them physically, emotionally and socially in the name of police’s inactiveness is not tolerable. We took stringent measures against the culprits. In Bangalore, the night activities have come down by nearly 90 per cent. During the Congress reign in Karnataka, such activities were quite common. Because of no political will, they could not do anything. Even though the Central Women Commission was satisfied, Congress friends were forcing the Home Minister to resign. So, it’s better to avoid these meaningless claims.

After all these incidents, would you continue to give license to pubs in Karnataka?

Yes, why not? I am not against the pubs but, I don’t consider pub culture as ours. That’s why we are strongly opposing the pub culture. You can go to a pub with your spouse or friends, but don’t spoil the place by obscene activities; you will have to pay for that. I believe, people of Karnataka will accept this rule and would not want an indecent culture. If at all any one wants to dance vulgarly, they better go home and do that. Public places are meant for decent activities.

While coming to Datt Peetha dispute, members of both pro-Hindu organisation and Komu Souharda Vedike (pro-Muslim group) were arrested. Recently, your government withdrew all cases against the pro-Hindu group activists but no measures were taken in the case of Komu Souharda Vedike activists. Can you justify your biased act?

This is not at all a biased act. We have withdrawn the cases that we found were inappropriate and have nothing to do with that dispute. Both the groups are equal to us and I would like to make it clear that the government has not taken any prejudiced action. More over, irrespective of their connection with any group, we are going to take all necessary correct measures against all the concerned persons.

Karnataka has become a hub for terrorist activities and there have also been reports of some Hindu activists being linked to terrorism. See, the BJP government is dedicated to curb terrorism. Presently, we are creating awareness about patriotism and national integration throughthe Terrorism Prevention Campaign. In the recently held campaign in Belgaum, more than 30,000 youths participated.

There are complaints that these campaigns are being saffronised.

It’s better to not to give importance to flimsy statements by the opposition parties. We are inviting all the delegates and members from all the parties and communities to the campaign. Soon we are calling a meeting with the chairmen of all the universities to create more awareness among the students. Journalists and delegates from all religions, castes and communities will be participating in the programme. So how will there be any scope for saffronisation?
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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017