The protestors claimed the govt holding the event in the wake of Siddaganga Mutt seer’s death was disrespectful.

Karnataka govt event stopped after protesters allege disrespect to Siddaganga seer
news Shivakumar Swamy Tuesday, January 22, 2019 - 15:42

A series of panel discussions titled as ‘Conversations of the Constitution’ organised by the Karnataka government’s Social Welfare Department featuring high profile speakers was called off abruptly on Tuesday in the face of protests by some pro-Kannada organisations. The second day of the event has also been cancelled. 

The protestors demanded that the government call off the event in the wake of the demise of  Shivakumara Swamy, the seer of the Siddaganga Mutt in Tumakuru, who was referred to as 'Nadedaduva Devaru' or 'Walking God' by many. They claimed the holding a high-profile event was disrespectful. The state government had already announced Tuesday as a state holiday and three days of mourning on account of his passing away. His final rites will be conducted on Tuesday afternoon with full state honours.

"It was not a protest but a way to show support for the seer. We only want the Union government to confer him with Bharata Ratna award. Our members came back after submitted the letters requesting the same," said Harish, President of KRV Yuva Sena.

Social Welfare Minister Priyank Kharge, the architect of the event, said, "The seminar, 'Conversations of the Constitution' began by observing a minute of silence in honour of Shri Shri Shri Shivakumara Swamiji who passed away yesterday."

He added, "Shri Shivakumara Swamiji always believed in the principle of 'Work is Worship' like Basavanna and worked and lived like a Kaayakayogi. We decided to follow the same and continue the pre-scheduled national-level event as it was being participated by esteemed dignitaries including the former Vice President of India."  

Before the protests by the pro-Kannada organisations, the BJP had opposed the event. In a tweet, the party said, “While State is mourning the loss of Shri Shivakumara Swamiji, Congress Minister @PriyankKharge has organised a luxury event inviting Tukde gang head Kanhaiya & Owaisi to speak on democracy.”

Planned as a two-day affair, the event in Bengaluru was set to feature speakers from many walks of life including former Vice President Hamid Ansari, Members of Parliaments like Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi, Rajya Sabha MP and noted jurist KTS Tulsi, Rajasthan Deputy CM Sachin Pilot. Other notable speakers were actor-turned-politician Prakash Raj, former Lokayukta and Supreme Court Judge Justice Santosh Hegde.