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Udupi to march for secularism on May 14

Various progressive rights and religious groups will come together to unequivocally protest the growing communal divide in India

Sabrangindia 13 May 2022

Udipi

Udupi’s citizens’ collective in Karnataka called for a unity march and state-level harmony convention on May 14, 2022 to curb and condemn growing communal tension. Spiritual leaders of different faiths have agreed to join the programme in the city where the hijab controversy first started.

Eager to address the “atmosphere of hate”, the Sahabalve Udupi and other organisations announced that the unity march from Hutatma chowk at 2 P.M on Saturday will inaugurate a harmony convention. It will be followed by a music programme at Christian School Maidan.

According to organiser KL Ashok, the convention is not a single-day event but a grand-scale programme to show that the common people do not consent to the forced Hindu-Muslim narrative. He stressed that Udupi has been a peaceful region that suffered such changes only in the last two decades or so.

“Many civilians still believe in harmony and coexistence. Five years ago, there was a similar but bigger convention called ‘Chalo Udupi’ which was modelled after the Gujarat movement that condemned the killing of Muslim and Dalit youths in the name of cow deaths,” said another organiser Yaseen Malpe.

This convention will go on till 9 P.M, gathering activists from across the state to stand united for secularism. Aside from at least 13 spiritual leaders, human rights activist Yogendra Yadav, International Federation of Karnataka Christian Associations President Ronald Colaco, social activist Sasikanth Senthil will be attending as special guests.

Chief guests include Dalita Sangharsha Samiti leader Mavalli Shankar and R Mohan Raj, farmer leaders HR Basavarajappa, Chamarasa Mali Patil and Chukki Nanjundaswamy, womens rights activist K Neela, Muslim community leader Belagami Mahammad Saad, Anupama Deputy Editor Sabiha Fatima and youth activist Najma Chikkanerale.

According organiser Veronica Cornelio, “The convention is a response to whatever happened since the hijab controversy, What is being portrayed as the normal occurrences of this town – like preventing Muslim girls from entering schools or Muslim vendors from making sales – are not the norm of this town. Communal harmony is normal. The families brought up here will not give their approval to this hatred.”

Earlier on May 10, historian Ramchandra Guha attended the press briefing announcing the event and warned that there are rampant attempts to communally divide people in every way possible.

“They only want to divide people in Hindu-Muslim. One day hijab, another time azan. If there is any conflict, we need to solve it by talks, not through aggression,” he told media persons.

According to The Hindu, Guha said that coastal districts like Udupi with their multiculturalism appear as a microcosm of Karnataka. As such, the communal polarisation is worrying. Speaking as a historian, he warned that a one-religion-one-language policy will harm the country.

“We are seeing the visuals from Sri Lanka, a country with great potential that has self-destructed because of Sinhala and Buddhist majoritarianism. We don’t want Karnataka and India to go down that road. This convention will help us restore our strengths which are pluralism, diversity, tolerance and interfaith harmony,” he said, as per The Hindu.

Related:

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Udupi to march for secularism on May 14

Various progressive rights and religious groups will come together to unequivocally protest the growing communal divide in India

Udipi

Udupi’s citizens’ collective in Karnataka called for a unity march and state-level harmony convention on May 14, 2022 to curb and condemn growing communal tension. Spiritual leaders of different faiths have agreed to join the programme in the city where the hijab controversy first started.

Eager to address the “atmosphere of hate”, the Sahabalve Udupi and other organisations announced that the unity march from Hutatma chowk at 2 P.M on Saturday will inaugurate a harmony convention. It will be followed by a music programme at Christian School Maidan.

According to organiser KL Ashok, the convention is not a single-day event but a grand-scale programme to show that the common people do not consent to the forced Hindu-Muslim narrative. He stressed that Udupi has been a peaceful region that suffered such changes only in the last two decades or so.

“Many civilians still believe in harmony and coexistence. Five years ago, there was a similar but bigger convention called ‘Chalo Udupi’ which was modelled after the Gujarat movement that condemned the killing of Muslim and Dalit youths in the name of cow deaths,” said another organiser Yaseen Malpe.

This convention will go on till 9 P.M, gathering activists from across the state to stand united for secularism. Aside from at least 13 spiritual leaders, human rights activist Yogendra Yadav, International Federation of Karnataka Christian Associations President Ronald Colaco, social activist Sasikanth Senthil will be attending as special guests.

Chief guests include Dalita Sangharsha Samiti leader Mavalli Shankar and R Mohan Raj, farmer leaders HR Basavarajappa, Chamarasa Mali Patil and Chukki Nanjundaswamy, womens rights activist K Neela, Muslim community leader Belagami Mahammad Saad, Anupama Deputy Editor Sabiha Fatima and youth activist Najma Chikkanerale.

According organiser Veronica Cornelio, “The convention is a response to whatever happened since the hijab controversy, What is being portrayed as the normal occurrences of this town – like preventing Muslim girls from entering schools or Muslim vendors from making sales – are not the norm of this town. Communal harmony is normal. The families brought up here will not give their approval to this hatred.”

Earlier on May 10, historian Ramchandra Guha attended the press briefing announcing the event and warned that there are rampant attempts to communally divide people in every way possible.

“They only want to divide people in Hindu-Muslim. One day hijab, another time azan. If there is any conflict, we need to solve it by talks, not through aggression,” he told media persons.

According to The Hindu, Guha said that coastal districts like Udupi with their multiculturalism appear as a microcosm of Karnataka. As such, the communal polarisation is worrying. Speaking as a historian, he warned that a one-religion-one-language policy will harm the country.

“We are seeing the visuals from Sri Lanka, a country with great potential that has self-destructed because of Sinhala and Buddhist majoritarianism. We don’t want Karnataka and India to go down that road. This convention will help us restore our strengths which are pluralism, diversity, tolerance and interfaith harmony,” he said, as per The Hindu.

Related:

A Labour Day befitting India's Constitution
Eid is an occasion to celebrate humanity and brotherhood
Hindu sisters donate land to Eidgah to honour father's dying wish
Restoring faith in unity: Mumbai’s Iftar parties

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