Will Muslim Reservations Snatcher Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai Bite Dust in Shiggaon Assembly Segment?

After letting down the Muslims of Karnataka by snatching away the 4 % reservations to Muslims, Karnataka Chief Minister (CM) Basavaraj Bommai’s name generates anathema among the 60,000 Muslims of the Shiggaon Assembly Constituency, who had voted for Bommai for three terms despite his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) background. Bommai is termed as a backstabber by some of his constituents. For extra 2 % Lingayat votes, Bommai antagonised the loyal Muslim voters who stood by him through thick and thin.

Bommai pushed the once prosperous Muslims of Savanur – a part of the constituency by badly letting them down and pushing into poverty. No mainstream media has highlighted this after their palms were greased by the political anti-Muslim extremists. Before independence, Savanur was ruled by Nawabs. Although small, Savanur was considered a model state. In those days, it had a printing press, schools, hospitals, good roads, tanks, and wells for drinking water and irrigation purposes. The Nawabs encouraged Paan cultivation in their state. Paan (Betel Leaf) is cultivated on 800 acres in Savanur. Savanur Paan is sent to different states in India. The far-sighted Nawab Abdul Majid Khan was responsible for a settlement of traders at Hubli, which was known as Majidpur.

During the Corona pandemic, CM Basavaraj Bommai did not come to the rescue of the Paan cultivators as there was no facility to transport Paan to the markets. The demand for Paan had fallen as people were not able to afford food and healthcare during the pandemic. When the Savanur Paan cultivators approached CM Basavaraj Bommai for relief, he reportedly turned them away saying that troublemakers would be dealt with strongly. Bommai did not take care to improve irrigation facilities in Savanur to improve Paan yield. A special variety of betel leaves called Kaala Paan remains fresh for a month. It is in great demand not only in neighboring states but as far as neighboring countries.

The constituents of Shiggaon are astounded as to how a moderate Bommai turned a hardcore and heartless person due to his party’s ideology of hate and exclusion. They are sore at Bommai’s stand on the Hijab issue, which pushed thousands of Muslim girls out of schools and colleges across Karnataka. Bommai was scared of just a piece of cloth – Hijab! The BJP has been dictating to the Muslims of the country since 2014 — what to eat, what not to eat, what to wear, and what not to wear. Even the absolute rulers in the medieval era did not force their subjects with this type of subjugation. After Gujarat, Karnataka is the BJP’s Hindutva laboratory in the South. The BJP has not been able to capture Karnataka despite the balloon-like presence of the Hindu Hriday Samraat Narendra Modi. The BJP usurped power by engineering defections and bringing down the Congress – JD (S) Government. The result was an alleged ‘40 per cent Government’ with unprecedented corruption.

Bommai discriminated against Muslims even when it came to death. He visited slain BJP worker Nettaru’s residence, consoled the family, and gave mighty financial assistance. He did not even visit the houses of Muslims slaughtered by the cow vigilante extremists. The question of financial assistance did not arise!

A Mutt of Dvaita philosophy propagator, Saint Sri Satyabodhatirtha is an important pilgrim center in Savanur. The saint is said to have had cordial relations with the Nawab, Tipu Sultan, and other Muslim rulers. There are also Dargahs of Hadhrat Sayed Kamal Pasha, Hadhrat Mohammed Rafaee Pasha, and Hadhrat Hamdu Waris Miyan.

Long before writing this analysis, I had known Savanur. Once in the erstwhile Kingdom of Balasinor in Gujarat, I was enquiring about Princess Aaliya Sultana’s sister married into the Savanur Royal family. The surprised princess quipped: Aap ne kaafi homework kiya hai hum logon par (You have done a lot of homework about us). Little did she know that apart from school children, journalists have to do a lot of homework. Hahaha!

Yasir Ahmed Khan Pathan, a former Zilla Panchayat member, is the Congress candidate against Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai. Basaraj Bommai (BJP) is heavily banking on the 80,000 Lingayat votes in the Shiggaon seat.  New communal issues are being created in Shiggaon ahead of the elections by Basavaraj Bommai. Muslim traders in Bankapur town in Shiggaon have been told to not set up their carts at the markets. Such things did not happen here before, according to Noor Ahmed Dorali, Councillor at Bakapur municipality in Haveri district. Paan khaaye Sainyyan Hamaro was the favourite song of our former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Basavaraj Bommai is making the lives of Paan growers in Savanur difficult. This time the Paan growers have decided to apply lime (Chuna Laga Denge) to Bommai’s political fortunes! Watch Out!

Will Muslim Reservations Snatcher Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai Bite Dust in Shiggaon Assembly Segment?

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