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Over-milking the holy cows

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If the statue (Ambedkar) is not shifted, the TBMs will have to be dismantled again at Vidhana Soudha station, towards the Vikasa Soudha gate, and parts have to be taken by shafts and launched from General Post Office end; the distance between these two stations being only a few meters would mean time and cost overrun.

However, the row over shifting the statue does not seem to end. Months ago, chief minister DV Sadananda Gowda and his entire cabinet gave the green signal to shift the statue, which is in front of Vidhana Soudha, inside the campus of government buildings, until the underground tunnels and station at this location are complete.

But there is no promise made on paper, so BMRC's underground engineers have also been unable to blast rocks around the statue, to prevent it from developing any cracks. BMRC officials say they have been carrying out controlled blasts, which are the latest technology and very safe, but they fear causing any damage to statues of national heroes. Blasts have not been conducted around a 25m radius of the statue, which indicate that rocks will hinder the smooth passage of the TBMs.

The delay has cost the exchequer quite heavily. The total time for this underground work is scheduled to be 174 weeks, which is about three years. BMRC is looking towards the High PoweredCommittee in the Union urban development ministry to pressure the government to take a decision on shifting the statue before the machines come close. The committee is headed by the BMRC chairman, who, incidentally, is the ministry secretary.

For the full report in the ToI, click here.

While the mainstream population has, over the years, become sensitive to the cause of the Dalits, such actions by a few extremist elements amongst them, is causing to lose it all for all of them. Similar is the case with the latest Cartoons issue.

The other question that arises is how long can the government allow itself, as well as the entire city, to be held to ransom this way by various vested interest groups? The astonishing thing here besides is that the entire Cabinet has okayed the shifting, and the many other statues of equally important leaders have already been shifted too.

Not too different are the Road-side temples issue, Kannada Number Plates issue, and a host of others, where likewise the state is being held, and allowing to be held, to ransom at the cost of the entire state. The current CM has generally been making the right kind of noises (check this), and also seems to enjoy the goodwill of the people, overall. It's perhaps time he came on the TV once a week, made bold statements, and moved ahead, rather than being allowed to be cowed down by the various parochial, chauvinistic, vote-bank mafioso. Either way, that's the best chance he has of remaining in power considering the fractious state of his party politics.

Muralidhar Rao


murali772's picture

Unfunny, literally

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Excerpts from a column by Swapan Dasgupta in the Sunday ToI (for the full text, click here)

My sense is that the professional petition writers were confronted with an awkward dilemma. They had to weigh their instinctive commitment to a liberal ethos and historical maturity against the weight of political correctness. For a long time, enlightened voices have sought to distinguish between reactionary and progressive assertions of identity. All grievances, they have held, are not equal; some are more equal than others. In short, there are no uniform standards: judgment is always dependant on the context.

The Dalit activists who flagged the cartoon controversy were not remotely concerned by the use of a Shankar cartoon as an imaginative relief from the drudgery of high school lessons on the Constitution. What agitated them was the depiction of Babasaheb Ambedkar as a mortal, a mere political player. In their agitpropinspired imagination, Ambedkar was an icon and had to be depicted with the reverence associated with calendar art.

Just as many crude Hindutva-types couldn’t countenance departures from Raja Ravi Varma’s portrayal of the sacred and went after M F Husain, the upholders of Dalit identity were outraged that Ambedkar could be presented as a caricature—and that too in an officiallyapproved textbook.

This mindless attachment to literalism should, ideally, have been debunked, if only for the pursuit of enlightened education. However, when it comes to Dalit issues, or for that matter any issue centred on the self-expression of communities that are in need of empowerment, liberal principles are expediently set aside. Doing otherwise would invite charges of hegemonic conduct—and that’s just not on in a world infected by political correctness.

The Constitution accorded a special status for the victims of social oppression to facilitate the eventual creation of a level playing field. Turning the world upside down and creating new hierarchies were never the goals. Yet, India is sleep-walking its way in that direction, unmindful that equality as an ideal is still worth fighting for.

Well said, Sir!

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture


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Even the not-so-bright underage student understands that the fundamental right that guarantees freedom of expression isn’t unfettered and reasonable restrictions on free speech must be accepted. The problem is who decides what is reasonable? If Kapil Sibal and company are allowed their way, it will not be long before the billion-plus Indians shall be deafened by thundering eloquence of silence. The moment you utter a word, it’s bound to hurt the sentiments of some individual or community or the other. UPA II, stung by the charge of policy paralysis, suddenly springs to hysterical (re)action whenever the sensibilities of a fickle ally or self-appointed custodian of any vote bank are involved.

For the full text of the column by Mr Pushpesh Pant in the New Indian express, click here.

Well said, Sir!


Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

spineless state

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City-based Advocate A V Amarnath has filed a public interest litigation in the High Court seeking the shifting of Dr B R Ambedkar’s statue in front of Vidhana Soudha to some other place on the same premises (Vidhana Soudha) to pave way for Bangalore Metro rail work. - - "The organisations which are politicising the issue are causing a great hardship, severe inconvenience and a huge loss of public money. The state government ought to have taken appropriate steps to shift the statue”, he said. - - -The petitioner sought directions to the government in this regard. He also sought protection and assistance to BMRCL to shift the statue from its present place.

For the full report in the New Indian Express, click here

If a handful of misguided Dalits can hold up the Metro work in the name of sentiments, we are not too far from going the Maharashtra way, where the state can be held to ransom, by the Shiv Sena and its variants, even for a member of the 'family' catching a cold.

And, it requires a Amarnath to move the courts to help the state develop its spine - absolutely sad state of affairs!

Well, for this act of Mr Amarnath, apart from many similar acts of his in the past, he is going to be my nominee for the Namma Bengaluru award this year.

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

Shameful abdication of powers

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The High Court on Monday asked the state government to shift the Ambedkar statue from the Vidhana Soudha premises immediately. “We won’t give you even a week’s time to shift it,” the court said.

The court also ordered a hand summons to Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) managing director N Sivasailam and directed him to appear before it on Tuesday for not filing a statement of objection on the delay in shifting the statue.

- - - A division bench comprising acting Chief Justice Sreedhar Rao and Justice B V Nagarathna asked the government, “Did you ask for a technical report while shifting the statues of  Jawaharlal Nehru and Subhash Chandra Bose? Why are you asking for it now? The court had given 15 days’ time to shift the statue but you have not shifted it.”

The court also issued a contempt notice to the government and BMRCL for not shifting the statue in connection with a petition filed by Amarnath seeking action for “willfully disobeying” the December 12 court orders.

For the full report in the New Indian Express, click here.

Perhaps, Namma Bengaluru Foundation could start a yearly dis-honours list also. I would like to nominate this cabinet for that.

Muralidhar Rao
sanjayv's picture

What a shameful bunch of wusses

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I swear, this bunch that runs the show need to go to a hospital for a spine transplants.  Very, very depressing.

dvsquare's picture

Vote Bank politics won - TBM dismantling started

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Vote Bank politics has won.

here is the today's TOI news - Govt dithers on statue, Helen breaks up .

Dismantling Of 350-Tonne Machine Begins; To Escalate Cost By Rs 120cr, Delays Metro Work By 2 Months

Total Disregard of the High Court Orders. Shame on my state's government, how useless we have selected to make laws for us, who are wasting hard-earned taxpayer's money just like this.


murali772's picture

what would the icons/ gods have wanted?

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Tension prevailed at Rajarajeshwari Nagar and around Mysore Road on Thursday morning after thespian Rajkumar’s fans and Kannada activists learnt that some unidentified people had set fire to a bust of the actor and staged a protest demanding the immediate arrest of the miscreants
- - - A senior police officer said the miscreants had put kerosene after placing a plastic cover on the bust and set it on fire. The bust has been partially damaged, they said. Preliminary investigation revealed that there were differences among the locals on installing the bust at the spot.  There is also no clarity on who the land on which the bust is installed belongs to. It is also learnt that it belongs to a trust which wanted to construct a temple there. Some people said it is a BBMP property.
Meanwhile, it is said that an organisation wanted to install actor Shankar Nag’s bust while another had plans to install Ambedkar’s statue. However, the exact reason behind the incident is not yet known. The police have detained some suspects and are questioning them.
Minister George said another bust of Rajkumar would be made and inaugurated on November 23.
For the full text of the report in the New Indian Express, click here.
So, it's now a question of whether there should be busts of Rajkumar, Shankar Nag, or Ambedkar, or there should be a temple. The irony is that all of them would most certainly have preferred something more beneficial to the community, like a children's play-ground.
The various groups pulling in different directions gives the government the perfect opportunity to put an end to such misuses of public spaces. But, apparently, our neta's just look at which of the options will fetch them the most number of votes.


Muralidhar Rao
blrpraj's picture


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Humankind is supposed to be the smartest and most intelligent species on earth. But, most often i keep wondering if that is true. For example, it is so easy to start a riot just by dismantling the statue of some fellow human which would lead to other humans fighting, killing and burning public property over it. Alas, how stupid and destructive we human beings are? Even animals would not do such sensless acts. When animals fight and injure/kill there is a sense of clear purpose - either to protect their herd or to protect their young ones or satisfy their hunger.  

People fighting over busts of some ordinary people elevated to demigod status are worse than animals which leaves one wondering if the humans species is indeed the smartest & intelligent species on earth.

Sanjeev's picture

sae people have they fought grabge thrown next to their housr

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Any time have you heard about these people raising their voice ???

1. Garbage not cleared

2. Footpaths not maintained

3. No street lights 

4.  No rainwater harvesting  in their locality

5. Lakes beds illigally occupied  

6. Sewage water getting into lakes ??? 

  people who r fighting above statue,  close to their house  did they make any efforts for above issues :

Intentions are clear and this is how cities are getting  sucked into these efforts. comment guidelines

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