Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday said it was his right to eat beef and nobody can stop him, a statement aimed at Hindu right-wing parties which are campaigning for a complete ban on cow slaughter.
Speaking at a Youth Congress event, Siddaramaiah targeted the BJP and the Sangh Parivar and said, “I will eat beef now. Who are you to question me?”
He added, “I have not eaten beef till now but now I will. It’s my right.”
The lynching of a 55-year-old Muslim man, Mohammad Ikhlaq, by a mob in Bisada village of Uttar Pradesh last month following rumours that he slaughtered a calf brought the issue back into the limelight and triggered a wave of protests against attacks on freedom of choice.
“The killing of a Muslim man in Dadri for eating beef, the murder of Kalburgi, Pansare, Dabholkar the Dalit children in Haryana have thoroughly exposed the communal and casteist agenda of the BJP and the RSS,” Siddaramaiah said.
Siddaramaiah asked Youth Congress leaders to work for communal harmony and uphold the secular values of the party.
Around 40 writers and 12 filmmakers have returned their government awards in protest against the “growing intolerance in the country” and the murders of Kannada writer and Sahitya Akademi Award winner MM Kalburgi and anti-superstition activists Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare.
Over 50 historians , including Romila Thapar, Irfan Habib, KN Pannikar and Mridula Mukherjee, on Thursday came out strongly against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, castigating him for not making any reassuring statement following concerns over the “highly vitiated atmosphere” prevailing in the country.
Eminent scientist PM Bhargava, who is set to return his Padma Bhushan in protest, has called for a ban on the RSS and alleged it is against minorities and Dalits.