Bengaluru: Karnataka’s BJP lawmaker KS Eshwarappa on Saturday sparked a controversy with his remarks on rape incidents in the state. He later said his remarks had been taken out of context but expressed regret if he had hurt or offended anyone.
Replying to a query on why his Bharatiya Janata Party was silent on the heinous crime being perpetrated even on minor girls in the state, he asked a local news channel journalist what he could do if someone abducted and raped her.
“You are a woman and here now. If someone drags you and rapes you, what can we do as we (opposition people) would be somewhere else,” Eshwarappa retorted on the margins of an event at Ramanagara, about 50 km from here.
The former deputy chief minister in the BJP government is currently the leader of opposition in the legislative council.
Taking objection to Eshwarappa’s offensive remarks, television and print media journalists complained to the party’s leaders, including former chief minister Jagadish Shettar, who decried and said the remark was not in good taste.
When a section of the outraged media complained to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, he played down the issue, saying: “When he (Eshwarappa) spoke seriously, he always speaks lightly.”
Asked why the BJP was not holding the Congress government responsible for such crimes, Eshwarappa had retorted: “You tell me what we need to do. We will do it. We have criticised the government in the house when a six-year-old girl was sexually abused in the city last year.”
When his remarks were condemned by political leaders, social activists and women groups, a rattled Eshwarappa hastened to clarify that his comments were twisted out of context.
“I have highest respect for women and consider them as sisters and girls as daughters. My reply has been distorted, as I was expressing their plight in anguish due to weak law and order in the state,” he said.
Expressing regret if his remarks had hurt the journalist and offended women, Eshwarappa said he was only trying to highlight the deteriorating law and order situation in the state where anyone could be raped anywhere.
Many activists of different political parties were injured in clashes as the BJP, Congress and other parties called a shutdown on Thursday to protest the killing of a journalist by a Tripura State Rifles (TSR) trooper
Agartala, Nov 23: Many activists of different political parties were injured in clashes while normal life was hit in Left ruled Tripura as the BJP, Congress and other parties called a shutdown on Thursday to protest the killing of a journalist by a Tripura State Rifles (TSR) trooper.
“Around 25 activists of different political parties including BJP and CPI-M were injured following the clashes in various places across Tripura,” a police official said.
Police said around 600 activists of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and other parties were arrested for picketing in front of government offices in different parts of the state.
Most of the government, semi-government, private offices, educational institutions, shops and business establishments were closed due to the strike called by the BJP, the Congress, the Trinamool Congress and the Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura.
Banks and financial institutions were also closed in view of the shutdown, which was opposed by the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) led Left Front.
All vehicles, except those of security forces, went off the roads. The bandh did not affect flights and train services in and out of Tripura.
“The strike was successful and spontaneous,” state BJP President Biplab Kumar Deb said.
Security forces led by senior police officials have been deployed across the state to prevent any untoward incident.
According to police, TSR Second Battalion Rifleman Nandu Kumar Reang shot dead Sudip Datta Bhowmik, 50, at Radha Kishore Nagar, 25 km from Agartala, following an altercation on Tuesday. Reang was the bodyguard of Second Battalion Commandant Tapan Debbarma. The slain journalist had gone to meet Debbarma at the battalion headquarters.
Police have arrested both the trooper and the Commandant. The Chief Judicial Magistrate here sent the duo to 10 days in police custody.
The state government, which has handed over the case to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), also constituted a four-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the incident.
Bhowmik, who was a reporter with “Syandan Patrika” and television channel “Vanguard”, is survived by his wife, a government teacher, and two children.
Most of the local newspapers left their editorial blank on Thursday with a thick black border to register their strong protest over the killing.
Numerous theories and claims have surfaced regarding the reason behind the journalist’s killing, the second incident involving a media man in the state. Earlier, 28-year-old TV reporter Santanu Bhowmik was hacked to death while covering an event of a tribal party at Mandai in western Tripura on September 20.
“Syandan Patrikaa” editor and Tripura Newspaper Society President Subal Kumar Dey alleged that his reporter was targeted by the commandant as the former had written many stories against him in the newspaper.
“It was a pre-planned cold-blooded assassination and they tried to hide the body to destroy evidence. Bhowmik was killed as he had exposed the TSR commandant’s illegal acts,” Dey told the media.
Police, however, claim Bhowmik had stolen an envelope containing a huge amount of money or some confidential documents from Debbarma’s table while the latter was in the toilet after their meeting in the office chamber.
Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy, who is now in Delhi, has said that he will submit a report to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Bhowmik’s killing.
With the state Assembly polls due in February, the journalist’s murder has heated up the political atmosphere in the Left ruled state.
The ruling CPI-M criticised the BJP for politicising the killing of the journalist.
“The ‘bandh’ called by BJP is totally undemocratic. It would hamper normal lives and especially the annual examinations started in schools and ongoing revision of electoral rolls for the next Assembly elections,” CPI-M Central Committee member Gautam Das said.
The Congress has demanded a high-level inquiry into the murder. The BJP has demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Manik Sarkar.
Various journalists organisations in the northeast including the Tripura Working Journalists Association, Tripura Journalists Union (TJU) and the Agartala Press Club have also denounced the killing and demanded a probe.
The TJU has also demanded the resignation of the state Home Minister, a portfolio held by Sarkar. (IANS)
Mr Asif Iqbal, Karnataka State coordinator of Swarna Bharat Party (SBP), today strongly opposed the communist, anti-market and anti-people policy of the Congress Karnataka government to cap healthcare charges in the private sector.
Mr Iqbal said that the Siddaramaiah government should start learning basic economics. Good intentions do not necessarily lead to good outcomes. This communist policy will shut down many hospitals and drive away thousands of health professionals. In this way, it will hurt everyone, including the poor. No communist society has ever done well, and this communist policy will badly harm Karnataka.
In a free market people voluntarily give their custom to the service provider who gives them the best service at the lowest cost. Simultaneously, the desire for profits motivates healthcare providers to provide good quality healthcare while keeping their costs down. And they can’t charge whatever they wish since they are forced by the competition among hospitals to keep prices low. Anyone who makes a profit in such a competitive environment is signalling that he has successfully and efficiently served the people. That is the best outcome for society.
Mr Iqbal said that a government’s role is to create the environment for market-led profitable investments, thereby serving the needs of the community. But instead of identifying and addressing any barriers to investment, the Congress communists are attacking the very existence of the health sector.
Mr Siddaramaiah should remember that the taxpayer does not subsidise private medical establishments, nor should there be any such subsidy. These establishments buy land at commercial rates, pay commercial taxes and get utilities like water and electricity at commercial rates. In fact, SBP understands that most private hospitals and clinics do not break even for the first 5-10 years and most earn barely enough to stay in business.
Mr Iqbal said that instead of Mr Siddaramaiah worrying about the private sector (which is already badly shackled with thousands of rules and infrastructure constraints), he should look within – at the total mismanagement of government hospitals. The private sector is the last ray of hope for the people of Karnataka. Now the anti-people Congress wants to extinguish even this last ray of hope.
SBP also opposes many other aspects of the new health laws, such as a district redressal body that comprises six members but with only one doctor member. Further, there are already several avenues for patients to complain, including consumer courts, civil courts, medical bodies. Creating another body is unnecessary and will only increase fear in doctors’ mind. SBP demands a complete repeal of the new law.
Chennai, Nov 6: Prime Minster Narendra Modi on Monday said that editorial freedom should be used in public interest and urged the newspapers to devote space to increase awareness about climate change.
Speaking at the 75th anniversary celebrations of Tamil newspaper Daily Thanthi at the Madras University Centenary Auditorium, Modi said lot of things happen around the world and the editors decide what is important to be published in their newspapers.
He said: “Editorial freedom should be used wisely and in public interest.”
Pointing out the natural calamities occurring around the world at regular intervals, PM Modi urged newspapers to allocate space to increase awareness about climate change.
Narendra Modi said the freedom to write does not in anyway reduce the importance to be accurate and correct, adding that though media outlets may be owned by the private sector, they serve a public purpose, have much social accountability and their conduct should be above board.
He said technological advancement enables citizens to compare, discuss and analyse the credibility of news and the media should take extra caution to maintain its credibility.
According to him, reform in media can come from within and through introspection.
Observing most of the media discourse revolves around politics, Modi said the nation is made of over a billion people and the media should focus on the people and their achievements.
Citing the spread of mobile phones, Modi said citizen reporting is important in showcasing individual achievements and also helping in the aftermath of natural disasters.
PM Narendra Modi also released a souvenir.
Governor Banwarilal Purohit, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Minister of State for Finance and Shipping Pon Radhakrishnan, Chief Minister K. Palaniswami and his deputy O.Pannerselvam also participated in the function.
Paying encomiums to the founder of Daily Thanthi S.P. Adithanar and his son Sivanthi Adithan, Palaniswami said the daily would certainly see centenary celebrations.
Leaders of several political parties, law makers, industrialists, movie actors and diplomats attended the function.
Earlier on his arrival PM Modi was received by Purohit, Palaniswami and others at the airport.
From the airport Modi reached the INS Adyar naval base here in a helicopter.
At INS Adyar, Modi had a meeting with Palaniswami and discussed about the rain and relief situation in Chennai and neighbouring districts. (IANS)