Remarks against Islam by BJP MP, Muslims hold Uttara Kannada Bandh

Bhatkal: The Muslim population of the Uttara Kannada district has come together and called for a Bandh on Saturday, February 5, 2016, protesting against the recent statements by the BJP MP Ananth Kumar Hegde in which he implied that to end terrorism, Islam should be finished off.

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Although the Bandh was total in the district, including towns such as Sirsi, Haliyal, Dandeli, Siddapur and Mundgod, it’s biggest impact, however, was felt in Bhatkal as it has a larger Muslim population. The whole town was shut down as Business establishments owned by Muslims, educational institutes and other daily activities were halted. Even the ever-bustling fish market wore a deserted look. Some non-Muslims also supported the Bandh to protest against Hegde’s hate speech. The Bandh was also supported in the neighboring district of Udupi, in the areas of Kandloor, Shiroor and Gangoli.

The Bandh was organised by Majlis e Islah wa Tanzeem, an NGO which enjoys massive support in the whole district for its humanitarian and social activities. Urging the people to support the Bandh, Tanzeem’s general secretary Altaf Kharuri also asked the people to maintain peace and order in the region.

Recently, the BJP MP from Uttar Kannada Lok Sabha constituency Ananth Kumar Hegde had sparked a controversy when he stated in a press conference that terrorism cannot be eradicated while Islam survives, implying that Islam teaches terrorism and should be finished off. He later stood by his statement and when asked about the controversy his statement would create, he reportedly said that Hindus won’t stay silent and fearful. This later statement further intensified the growing resentment against Hegde in the region.

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As soon as Hegde’s statement spread, various organisations, mostly those owned and managed by Muslims are demanding for his arrest. Various political and social leaders have come together to condemn his statement and have called it an attempt to polarise the society on communal lines. Some political analysts have also suggested that this is a well-thought plan of the BJP to destabilise peace in the region as many such statements are being made in different parts of country.

As a precautionary measure, the district administration has enforced section 144 and also deployed additional police force in the region.


  1. “Some non-Muslims also supported the Bandh to protest against Hegde’s hate speech” – Report.

    Translation – “Congress party members supported the Bandh to protest against Hegde’s speech”.

  2. “BJP MP Ananth Kumar Hegde in which he implied that to end terrorism, Islam should be finished off”

    Speaking provocatively against any religion is wrong, and no one should be allowed to do it. But calling for “bandh” to collectively punish their fellow citizens for comments made by someone whom they do not have any control over does not make any sense. If Hegde reiterated his position why didn’t the authorities question him? Why didn’t senior party members not caution him, and make him apologise for his comments?

    This is my understanding of Bandh’s:

    Before independence Bandh’s were called by the Indian National Congress, as a form of non violent protest against British rule. They demonstrated to the British the strength of the Indian leaders and the Indian people, the message was loud and clear the Brits could not rule over India, if the Indians refused to co-operate. Besides they hurt their sources of revenue. Hence, the Brits got the message and Congress leaders were arrested and thrown into jail. Interestingly, an RSS supporter in our forum has assumed that the Congress encouraged this Bandh, and here is what I have to ask of him. Before independence there were 2 other (pseudo) political parties RSS and Muslim League, I can’t recall any of their top leaders that were ever jailed by the British – NOT ONE. Since not a single one went to jail, this means they either co-operated with the British, or they remained neutral to the freedom struggle. Till date both these parties (that are mirror images of each other) and their supporters are creating a havoc against the Indian people, but yet they continue to blame everyone else other than themselves.

    But after independence the Bandh is continued to be used by ALL, but whom are they punishing, themselves and the Indian people? School children were deprived of school? Every one lost money the State (additional police), Exchequer (taxes) and Individual business owners, especially those who sold perishable goods like fish, meat and produce. What about the sick and elderly who perhaps needed urgent medical attention?

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