Targeting of Mahesh Kathi amounts to ‘caste boycott’: Dalit leader Manda Krishna

Manda Krishna has demanded immediate withdrawal of Telangana police’s ‘externment’ order on Mahesh Kathi.
Targeting of Mahesh Kathi amounts to ‘caste boycott’: Dalit leader Manda Krishna
Targeting of Mahesh Kathi amounts to ‘caste boycott’: Dalit leader Manda Krishna
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A day after Telangana police externed popular film critic Mahesh Kathi from Hyderabad for six months, Dalit-Girijan (tribal) organisations have come down heavily on the state police, demanding immediate withdrawal of the ban.

On Monday, the Telangana Director General of Police (DGP) Mahendar Reddy had announced Kathi’s externment from the city under the Telangana Prevention of Anti-Social and Hazardous Activities Act, 1980. 

The row began after Kathi made "objectionable" remarks during a television debate, which was discussing sedition cases filed against rationalist Babu Gogineni.

Madiga Reservation Porata Samiti (MRPS) and "Prevention of SC/ST Atrocities Act" Protection Committee leaders have condemned the police action to ban Kathi on charges of creating "social unrest".

Speaking at a press conference in Hyderabad, MRPS founder Krishna Madiga termed the decision as "caste boycott" and said, "DGP must withdraw whatever action has been taken against Mahesh Kathi."

"Many have made such remarks, why the punishment against Dalits alone. If others (other than Kathi) were found with more derogatory comments also, they (police) would not have taken such action."

He questioned police inaction against Paripoornananda, a Hindu seer and BJP MLA Raja Singh.

Krishna Madiga alleged that Paripurnaananda had humiliated and hurt the sentiments of Shirdi Sai's worshipers and further alleged that Paripurnaananda had accused Mother Teresa of conversions. He said, "Isn't it crossing the limits of freedom of expression, aren't these rules applicable to Paripurnaananda?

He also said, "Why hasn't the DGP taken any action against BJP MLA Raja Singh even after he made his wishful comments on Dalits Muslims and poor people hurting their sentiments”?

He further lamented that action was taken against Mahesh just because he is a Dalit and said, "Even when they killed us in Tsunduru it wasn't a crime. These punishments are not from the present but from the time of Rama. Shambuka was killed by Rama as someone complained about his scholarship. Then, it was a crime to study and now it has become a crime to question."

He said "Popular writer Ranganayakamma has written Ramayanam oka Visha Vruksham (Ramayana- a poisonous tree). Why wasn't she externed, is it because she is not a Dalit.”

"Asking questions has become a crime, our movement is a crime but even if others indulge in disruption, there are no punishments,” he said.


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