Facing hurdles in social reform like Urs did: CM

Facing hurdles in social reform like Urs did: CM

Facing hurdles in social reform like Urs did: CM

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah says he is facing hurdles similar to those encountered by Buddha, Basavanna, Ram Manohar Lohia and D Devaraj Urs in his mission to reform society.

Addressing the valedictory function of the 101st birth anniversary of former chief minister Devaraj Urs here on Saturday, he said those men had strived hard to bring about change in society, but they all faced stiff resistance and criticism from people around them.

Siddaramaiah said he, too, was facing similar difficulties. “Bringing about change in society is as difficult as swimming against the roughest of tides. There will be many hurdles, with people around you constantly trying to pull you down. But it is people like these who are immortalised,” he said.

Hailing the late Urs for his achievements and contributions, Siddaramaiah said that if there were engineers, doctors, scientists and teachers from backward communities today, the credit went to the former chief minister. He said that 1970s was the “golden era” both in Karnataka and in the country with leaders such as Urs and Indira Gandhi at the helm.

While Urs was successful in bringing about land reforms and abolishing bonded labour and manual scavenging, the country saw nationalisation of banks, the 20-point programme and the ‘Garibi Hatao’ campaign during Gandhi’s rule. “Not everybody is remembered after they are dead, but people such as Urs are immortalised. His biggest achievement was to politically empower the oppressed. He was both a leader and a voice (for change),” he said.

Urs award

Siddaramaiah presented the 2016 Devaraj Urs award to former minister B A Mohideen. The government has spent Rs 10 crore on Urs’s centenary celebrations. Thirteen books were released on the occasion. Social Welfare Minister H Anjaneya appealed to the government to present the Karnataka Ratna award to Urs posthumously.

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