Minister of State for Skill Development Anant Kumar Hegde has kicked up a political storm with his remark that secular people do not have an “identity of their parental blood” and pressed upon the need to ‘change the constitution’.
Speaking at an event in Koppal district of Karnataka, Hegde said, “Those claiming to be secular and progressive do not have an identity of their parents and their blood,”
Underlining the need to identify people with their religion, the union minister said, “I will be happy if someone identifies as Muslim, Christian, Brahmin, Lingayat or Hindu. But trouble will arise if they say they are secular.”
The firebrand leader also stressed that constitution needs to be changed from time to time.
“I respect the Constitution, but the Constitution has changed according to the times on many occasions in the past and it will change in the future. We are here to change the Constitution.”
The BJP leader’s comment drew sharp criticism from Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah who alleged that his comments exposed the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s views on Ambedkar.
“I do not want to stoop to his level. We know our language and culture. He is a Union minister, but spits venom.” The New Indian Express quoted Karnatka CM as saying.
Hegde, who was inducted in Narendra Modi’s cabinet this September, has been no stranger to controversies.
1) On Tipu Jayanti:
In November, the BJP leader took a swipe at the Karnataka chief minister over his plans to celebrate Tipu Jayanti suggesting the Congress government will soon start celebrating terrorists like Ajmal Kasab and Osama Bin Laden.
” Today they make government employees celebrate Tipu Jayanti. If Siddaramiah comes to win the election again, he will also celebrate Kasab Jayanti, Osama Bin Laden Jayanti and Hyder Ali Jayanti.” he was quoted as saying a public event in Karnataka last month.
2) On terrorism
In 2016, Hegde triggered another row after he reportedly told mediapersons that there will be terrorism in the world as long as Islam exists. “Until we eradicate Islam from the world we will not be able to eliminate terrorism from the world. Islam is a bomb placed to disrupt world peace. As long as there is Islam there will be no peace in the world,” he was quoted as saying on February 28, 2016 in Sirsi town.
3) Caught on Camera assaulting doctor:
The RSS ideologue, who is a self-confessed practitioner of Taew-Kon-Do, was caught on camera earlier this year assaulting a doctor. Hegde was reportedly furious at the staff of the private hospital for not giving proper treatment to his mother. In September, resident doctors of the All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi demanded the removal of Hegde from the union cabinet saying he has a history of physical violence against medical practitioners.
4) Faces multiple cases of rioting and hate speech
In 1993, he was first accused of rioting, unlawful assembly and promoting enmity, when he was allegedly involved in Bhatkal riots. Hegde caught the attention of the Sangh Parivar on August 15, 1994, when, as a 25-year-old, he dodged prohibitory orders and slipped into the disputed Idgah Maidan in Hubli, with two other activists, to raise the national flag on the prayer ground, the Indian Express reported. The riots and police firing in the incident led to as many as eight deaths.
Ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Hegde alleged that Congress leader R V Deshpande, whose son Prashant was pitted against him, had sheltered Indian Mujahideen terrorists like Riyaz Bhatkal and Yasin Bhatkal in Bhatkal.
5) Propagating hate on Twitter
A little amount of digging into Hegde’s account would reveal Hegde’s love for controversies.
But yet, the bootlickers continue to appease their gaddar paymasters! https://t.co/a92N68aAHV
— Anantkumar Hegde (@AnantkumarH) December 13, 2017
— Anantkumar Hegde (@AnantkumarH) June 23, 2017
— Anantkumar Hegde (@AnantkumarH) August 1, 2017
Terror activities could now be sourced to converted Hindus & Islamists could escape from its consequences, reducing the casulties! https://t.co/rtfohdLCMe
— Anantkumar Hegde (@AnantkumarH) August 17, 2017