Deccan Chronicle

DC Edit | Can Karnataka foil divisive agendas?

Deccan Chronicle. | DC Correspondent

Published on: March 27, 2022 | Updated on: March 27, 2022

As civilisation advances, people discover the value of collective effort and how it helps them make rapid moves in life

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai. (Photo: Twitter)

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai. (Photo: Twitter)

Every society has its fault lines, be they along race, caste, religion or language. They serve only to divide society among its stakeholders and slow down the pace of progress. As civilisation advances, people discover the value of collective effort and how it helps them make rapid moves in life. The resultant composite culture stops them from reducing themselves into their primary identities; instead they cover up the fault lines with it.

India is one such society which has learnt, through centuries, the value of living together, despite the presence and influence of every possible fault line a society can imagine. There have been vested interests in its history which lie dormant most of the time and become active when they smell an occasion.

Reports of Muslim traders being kept off festivals in Karnataka temples, which are administered by the state government, signal the emergence of such interests in that part of India. Whether a state government department can discriminate against people based on their faith from a legitimate activity is a constitutional question on which the courts may take a call later but the fact is that it questions the decades-old practice only to divide society.

The Hindutva organisations which put pressure on temple committees to ban Muslim traders justify themselves saying it is their reaction to the call given by a section of Muslim organisations to organise a bandh protesting against the high court order upholding the ban on hijab in educational institutions. That the Hindutva organisations have suddenly become advocates for the respect of court orders is beside the point; the real question is whether such people should be allowed to use every possible ruse to sow seeds of hate in society.

Between the Islamist organisations who blow minor issues out of proportion and their Hindutva cousins who have no qualms about pursuing a divisive agenda, they are out to harm the composite culture of Karnataka. It’s for the people of the state to be vigilant about it and stop them in their tracks.

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