An Open Letter to Anant Kumar Hegde Sahib: Devanoora Mahadeva

Union Minister, Mr. Anant Kumar Hegdeji, It is frightening to have to listen to the words you have spoken at Kuknoor in Yelburga Taluk. ‘Those who are unaware of their parentage are the ones who call themselves secularists’ you say deridingly. Now we have to make you aware of your own parentage – It is hatred that is your father, intolerance your mother, illusion your ancestry, falsehood (Mithya) the source of your knowledge. I think this should be enough.

What hurts me even now, whenever I remember it, is Vajpayee, BJP’s leader, being in an insensate state. Similarly, George Fernandes, a part of the NDA and who comes from a socialist background, is also in an insensate state. It then seems that precisely because leaders like these are not active in your party the present BJP and the NDA end up making such senseless and irresponsible statements.

And then another statement of yours – ‘Every human being is an animal when he is born but it is what he does that makes him a human being’. In your case it somewhat feels quite the opposite. Even amidst the din you make, I would request you to pay attention to Kuvempu’s concept of ‘being the universal human at birth itself ….’.

Furthermore, your knowledge of history is so polluted. You say that the deformity called caste has grown in recent times. Notice, you say ‘in recent times’. In that case which era’s caste would you want? That of the Peshwas? At the time of the Sepoy uprising, if the British were to lose in their war against the Peshwas then Peshwa rule would end up creating hell for marginalized communities felt highly aware members from these marginalized communities including Jyotiba Phule. What is this? Why so? If you understand this you will understand India.

Then, like a battle cry on a battlefield, you say ‘we will change the constitution…. that is why we are here’. If the task of drafting the constitution had fallen into the hands of the likes of you, your ancestors, the illusionists, would have created hell and called it heaven. Mother India survived precisely because Dr.Ambedkar drafted the constitution. Care should be taken to ensure that constitutional amendments move in the direction of the constitution’s preamble. It would bode well for you to remember this especially as a member of parliament.

Recently, there has been some news that has been circulating widely. In case the BJP comes to power, in Karnataka, the Vibhuti-across-his-forehead-Yeddyurappa would end up with the mark of the Vaishnavite tilak (Urdhva Pundra) and have a shell and gong placed in his hands while Anant kumar Hedge will himself become the chief minister says this news. If you look at BJP’s Delhi – Nagpur lagaami politics, this could actually happen. And if this were to happen there is utter dread that you will make Karnataka a graveyard. It might then even feel like Yeddyurappa might have just been better. Instead, the wise voter may decide that if this were to happen, with whoever at the helm, they will make sure the

BJP lose their electoral deposits. I believe that. Because our Mythology and History has consistently curbed the crossing of limits.

Now, a few words for you – religious fundamentalists who were rattled by Kuvempu’s rationality kept responding abhorrently to him. Kuvempu disregarding all this says – ‘Those who enter the wrestling ring ought to wear a loincloth. I will not battle with those who don’t even wear one.’ I would ask you to keep these words by Kuvempu with you. Maybe then you, and the likes of you, who make the streets your battlefield, could save yourselves some honour.

Once, while Yogendra Yadav, Swaraj India’s president, and I were discussing about the word secularism, he said, ‘There is no proper translation in India’s vernacular languages for the word secularism. Instead of translating, we need to search for a word from amongst us that is its equivalent. In India, Dharma is usually understood to mean duty and words such as Vrittidharma (duties towards one’s profession), Rajadharma (duties of the king), Putradharma (duties of the son) are born from that very meaning. Can you find a word?” he had asked. Just like the way plants absorb muck producing fruits and flowers, the muck of your speech transformed itself birthing a new word for secularism. That word is ‘Sahanadharma’ (‘Religion of Tolerance’). This ‘Sahanadharma’ ought to exist within religion as well as between different religions. Having found this word because of you, Mr. Hegde Sahib, I thank you.

Devanoora Mahadeva

This has been translated from the Kannada original into English by Rashmi Munikempanna.

Published here:

An Open Letter to Anant Kumar Hegde Sahib by Devanoora Mahadeva in Indian Cultural Forum.

The original Kannada version here: ಅನಂತಕುಮಾರ್ ಹೆಗಡೆ ಸಾಹೇಬರಿಗೆ ಒಂದು ಬಹಿರಂಗ ಪತ್ರ-ದೇವನೂರ ಮಹಾದೇವ

An Open Letter To Anant Kumar Hegde  By Devanoora Mahadeva in Countercurrents.

Dalit Scholar to Minister Hegde: India Survived Because Ambedkar And Not You Wrote the Constitution in The Citizen.

‘Your Knowledge of History Is Highly Polluted’: A Response to Anantkumar Hegde in The Wire.

Karnataka will turn into graveyard if Hegde becomes CM: Writer Devanoora Mahadeva in The Siasat Daily.

Hatred & Intolerance are Your Parentage, Devanoora Mahadava tells Anant Kumar Hegde in Sabrang

An Open Letter to Anant Kumar Hegde Sahib by Devanoora Mahadeva in NewsClick

If Anantkumar Hegde becomes CM, dread Karnataka will turn into a graveyard: Writer Devanoora Mahadeva in Newsminute

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