SUTTUR (NANJANGUD, MYSURU): Vice president M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday called upon religious leaders to head to villages and embrace Dalits and others of downtrodden sections, who predominantly reside in specific clusters, and in doing this, make them understand that they are equal stakeholders in the development of the country.
Addressing a gathering at the 103rd birth anniversary celebration of former Suttur Mutt seer Sri Shivaratri Rajendra Swami, Naidu said, “Time has come for religious leaders to visit villages and embrace Dalits and people of the Valmiki community in their respective colonies, to give them solace and encourage to make them feel that they are also equal partners in the country.” Underlining that culture has nothing to do with religion, Naidu said, “Culture is just a way of life as told by Basavanna and Brahmasri Sri Narayana Guru among several others who vouched for building a caste-free society.”
“It is only due to the rich legacy of culture and tradition set by thinkers of yore that India became known as ‘Vishwa Guru’ (world leader) as is evident with institutes of repute like Nalanda and Takshashila having been successfully established that spread the essence of knowledge. The time has come to again mobilise resources so as to preserve the rich heritage and culture of the country. The main culture of the country is agriculture and measures should be taken to promote it further,” he said. To elaborate on the rich culture, he said, “We also respect animals.”
Rare display of bonhomie
The event turned out to be a perfect platform for display of rare bonhomie among politicians of different parties. CM H D Kumaraswamy who took the names of dignitaries on the stage forgot to mention the name of Yeddyurappa. He had even started his speech, when he overheard his cabinet colleagues C S Puttaraju and Sa Ra Mahesh muttering about “omitting” Yeddyurappa’s name. Kumaraswamy said: “Yeddyurappanavare kshamisi...” (Forgive me Yeddyurappa), only to evoke a smile on the face of Yeddyurappa. Earlier, when Kumaraswamy arrived on the dais, Yeddyurappa who was already seated, exchanged pleasantries with CM.