Biocon chief urges CM to end 'religious divide'

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw


Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw's tweet draws sharp reaction from BJP

Bengaluru: With Biocon chief Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw requesting him to resolve "growing religious divide" in Karnataka, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Thursday called upon all sections of society to observe restraint before going public on social issues, as they can be resolved through discussions.

He said Karnataka is known for peace and progress and sought cooperation from everyone in maintaining it, as Mazumdar-Shaw, while pointing out that the State has always forged inclusive economic development, expressed worry that if IT/ BT sectors became communal it would destroy its global leadership.

"Karnataka has always forged inclusive economic development and we must not allow such communal exclusion - If ITBT became communal it would destroy our global leadership. @BSBommai please resolve this growing religious divide," she said. Her tweet was in response to incidents of denial of permission to non-Hindu traders and vendors to carry on business around temples during annual temple fairs and religious events in some parts of the State.

Responding to a question on the tweet, Bommai said, "Several issues have come up for discussion in the State, the issue on uniform for students has been decided by the High Court. On other issues my appeal to those concerned is that we have been leading our lives all these years, based on our beliefs. Everyone should cooperate in maintaining peace and order."

"Karnataka is known for peace and progress, and everyone should observe restraint and see to it that it is not affected. When social issues arise, there is a possibility for us to discuss and resolve it. So before going public, everyone should observe restraint," he added.

However, Mazumdar-Shaw's tweet drew a sharp reaction from BJP's IT cell chief Amit Malviya.

"Good to see Kiran Shaw wake up to the religious divide in Karnataka. Did she speak up when a belligerent minority sought to prioritise hijab over education or Congress framed rules excluding non-Hindus from Hindu institutions. She helped Congress draft their manifesto. Explains?" Malviya tweeted. "It is unfortunate to see people like Kiran Shaw impose their personal, politically coloured opinion, and conflate it with India's leadership in the ITBT sector. Rahul Bajaj once said something similar for Gujarat, it is today a leading automobile manufacturing hub. Go figure…" he added. Later, lamenting that vested interests are hijacking the issue, Mazumdar-Shaw, calling herself a proud Kannadiga, expressed confidence about CM Bommai resolving the issue.

"Unfortunately, vested interests are hijacking the issue to political parties. I am confident our CM @BSBommai will resolve the matter peacefully. I am a proud kannadiga n don't want to see these incidents detract from economic progress. All parties need to work towards this," she tweeted.

Further, stating that the media is very irresponsible in making this into a BJP issue, she said, "I am fully confident that the BJP Govt led by ?@BSBommai will resolve this issue."

The issue of denial of permission initially began as banners were placed during the annual Kaup Marigudi festival in Udupi district, which said non-Hindu vendors and traders should not be allowed entry, and the temple management paid heed to the request of certain pro-Hindu organisations.

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