Concerned with the rise in incidents of moral policing and religious intolerance in the state, Karnataka government has come up with a cultural policy to keep a check on such incidents and maintain harmony.
Bangalore Mirror reports that the cultural policy is focused at encouraging secularism and safeguarding the cultural heritage of the state.
It will also impose restrictions on making communal statements in public as well as social media and ensure that the government forms a committee before introduction of any restrictions on food, literature and films.
BM quoted Baraguru Ramachandrappa, who headed a panel to draft the cultural policy, as saying, â€śWe have suggested that the government should form a committee of experts and take its opinion before deciding on any bans.â€ť
It is focused on decentralizing the Kannada and culture department and promoting state neutrality towards religion. It also aims to give the government some powers to intervene in the religious domain to safeguard some rights.
â€śThe draft is expected to be placed before the cabinet. The finance department had kept it pending for more than six months for want of funds,â€ť a senior official of the culture department said.
â€śChief Minister Siddaramaiah deemed it necessary in the wake of Kalburgi's killing and rising cases of religious intolerance. He earmarked funds allotted to the Kannada and culture department for implementation of the policy,â€ť the official added.
However, Ramachandrappa said the government should make its stand clear to the people before it makes up its mind to counter moral policing and dangerous superstitions practised in the name of culture, said the BM report.
â€śWhen the government's policy is clear, why will leaders issue statements to the contrary?â€ť he asked.
This year there have been 10 cases of moral policing reported from Mangaluru so far. The policy also comes in the backdrop of rationalist scholar Kalaburgiâ€™s and right-wing activist Prashant Poojaryâ€™s murder.
This is an aggregated report from Bangalore Mirror