Educational professionals say that communal harmony can fix most of Karnataka’s problems.
A panel of education professionals headed by Professor B K Chandrashekhar discussed a host of problem from farmer suicides to communal tensions.
Prof B K Chandrashekhar is an ex-member of the Karnataka Legislative Council who has been working as a professor for the last few years. He said that communal conflicts in the state are rising. “These conflicts are very concerning and we hope there are better days ahead.”
He said, “The current government’s approach to governance is polarizing the state’s population on the basis of religion.” He added that this is something former Chief Minister (CM)B. S. Yediyurappa refrained from doing but the current CM Basavaraj Bommai could not stop attacks against Muslims. He added, “The hijab controversy and multiple instances of targeting Tipu Sultan just aggravated the communal tension in the state.”
The discussion took place at a press conference at the Press Club of Bangalore on April 27, 2023. Professors from different fields spoke on the agenda: ‘Protect the Constitution; Let us all save India and make Karnataka friendly.’
Other problems discussed during the conference were — agriculture related issues, and unfulfilled promises by the government.
Nagendra, another professor who specializes in agriculture said that the promise of doubling the income of farmers has not been met. “At a time where every 23 minutes, a farmer dies by suicide, more needs to be done and promises like these need to be fulfilled.” He added that over four crore people are dependent on agriculture.
He added, “During the two years of COVID-19, everyone wore masks and sat back, while farmers continued working hard. In Karnataka, they never stopped working for us, why have we?” He concluded by saying, “Farmers in Karnataka are not recognised because the ruling party is too busy creating communal conflict.”
T R Chandrashekhar, another panellist spoke on schemes like Gruha Jyothi (200 units of free electricity); Gruha Laksmi (Rs. 2,000 per month for women head of households); Yuva Nidhi (Rs. 3,000 per month for unemployed youth with graduation degrees) and urged the current government to implement them.
Another panellist said that communal tensions are high in the Information Technology sector also. B K Chandrashekar said, “It is worrying to see this, Bengaluru that was once the most sought after city for the sector, is not the first choice anymore. Because of this polarisation, so many employees are choosing to go to other places like Tamil Nadu, and Hyderabad or even abroad for work opportunities.”
Another panellist said, “Research students are not getting a stipend and professors of different universities are not being paid. Students of Bangalore University from rural areas find it difficult to do post-graduation (PG) because they are not even provided with minimum financial support.”
He added that Rs. 120 crores was set aside by the current government for Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe students but no schemes and programs have actually been implemented in reality.
B K Chandrashekhar said that the solution to most problems in Karnataka could lie in communal harmony and fixing basic infrastructure.