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Wednesday, Oct 27, 2021
Outlook.com

Drill Them All Into Line

Karnataka’s BJP government brooks no ideological incongruence from officials

Drill Them All Into Line
Nilotpal Baruah
Drill Them All Into Line
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Sex scandals and the mining mafia is not the only filth that surrounds Karnataka’s BJP government. In the last few weeks, the way the B.S. Yediyurappa government has openly taken on various constitutional and statutory bodies in the state has many question its hidden motives. While some say it is the arrogance of successive electoral wins that has made the government assault vital institutions with impunity, others see it as a well-rehearsed exercise to eject ideologically incongruent elements out of the governance structure. While its war with the permanent Backward Classes Commission, the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) and the Commission for Protection of Child Rights is in the open, manifest in public sparrings and humiliation, it has been shadow-boxing with bodies like the Lokayukta and the Justice B.K. Somasekhara commission, set up to probe the September 2008 church attacks.

The starkest case, perhaps, is of Dr C.S. Dwarakanath, head of the Backward Classes Commission. In March, the government decided to withdraw the judicial status accorded to him. Altering his position to that of a minister, it specified that he could not have a red beacon on his car, nor be eligible for a gunman. Dwarakanath went to high court and ensured a status quo. His crime? He has consistently spoken out against Sangh parivar organisations. He told Outlook: “One cabinet minister who tried to work out a compromise recently asked me why I was anti-RSS, anti-VHP and anti-BJP? I was shocked by his directness.”

Dwarakanath says he has been “humiliated” constantly. He didn’t get a hike when the salaries of high court judges were enhanced. He has seen seven member-secretaries come and go in the last two years and the commission has had no member-secretary at all in the...

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