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Caste Census Report Sparks Debate in Karnataka

Socio-Economic & Education Survey, dubbed ‘caste census’, submitted to CM. Triggers renewed Congress debate amid objections.

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Caste Census Report Sparks Debate in Karnataka
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In Karnataka, the release of the much-anticipated Socio-Economic and Education Survey report, commonly referred to as the ‘caste census,’ has reignited heated debates within political circles. The report, submitted to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah by Karnataka State Commission for Backward Classes Chairman K Jayaprakash Hegde, has stirred up divisions within the ruling Congress party and triggered objections from various societal segments.

Caste Census Report

The survey, conducted in 2014-15, enlisted the efforts of 1.60 lakh officials, including 1.33 lakh teachers, under the guidance of district Deputy Commissioners. However, despite its comprehensive nature, objections have been raised by dominant communities such as the Vokkaligas and Lingayats, labeling the survey as ‘unscientific’ and demanding its rejection.

Amidst allegations of leaks and concerns about the methodology, Hegde defended the report’s integrity, emphasizing the need for a thorough examination before passing judgment. Nonetheless, dissenting voices from within the Congress party, particularly from the Veerashaiva-Lingayat community, have expressed reservations and called for a fresh scientific survey.

Minister Laxmi Hebbalkar highlighted logistical issues during the survey, citing instances of missed households and complexities in categorizing sub-castes. Similarly, Minister M B Patil echoed concerns regarding the representation of sub-castes and urged the government to address community-specific demands.

The controversy surrounding the caste census extends beyond political circles, with pressure mounting for the report’s public disclosure. However, entrenched opposition from influential communities threatens to escalate tensions and delay the report’s release.

Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar and other prominent figures have voiced objections, signaling potential rifts within the ruling coalition. The All India Veerashaiva Mahasabha, led by veteran Congress leader Shamanuru Shivashankarappa, has also voiced dissent, further complicating the issue.

Analysts attribute the reluctance to release the survey findings to political sensitivities, particularly concerning the perceived numerical strength of key castes in Karnataka. Despite the significant investment of Rs 170 crore in conducting the survey, successive governments have hesitated to embrace its outcomes.

The current impasse underscores the complex interplay between societal dynamics, political interests, and administrative challenges. As stakeholders continue to navigate the contentious terrain of caste-based demographics, the fate of the caste census report remains uncertain, poised at the intersection of governance and identity politics in Karnataka.

Bengaluru

Bengaluru Firm: Rs 1,500 ‘Forest Bathing’ at Cubbon Park – Viral Post

Debate erupts as Trove Experiences offers Rs 1,500 forest bathing in Cubbon Park. Is commercializing Shinrin Yoku ethical? Explore the controversy.

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Bengaluru Firm: Rs 1,500 'Forest Bathing' at Cubbon Park - Viral Post
(Image:troveexperiences.com)

In Bengaluru, Trove Experiences’ decision to monetize Shinrin Yoku, a revered Japanese practice, has stirred controversy. The offering of guided forest bathing experiences for Rs 1,500 has triggered outcry and ridicule, igniting a fierce debate over the commercialization of a sacred ritual.

Research highlights the benefits of communing with nature, emphasizing its capacity to alleviate anxiety, depression, and uplift mood and self-esteem. Shinrin Yoku, the Japanese art of forest bathing, has long served as an escape from urban chaos, offering a slow, deliberate stroll through wooded areas to soothe modern malaise and restore well-being.

However, criticism has mounted with the introduction of paid guided forest bathing experiences, a novelty in Bengaluru. Trove Experiences’ initiative has sparked a firestorm of debate with its Rs 1,500 forest bathing excursions, conducted not in a forest but at Cubbon Park, where strolling has always been free.

On Trove Experiences’ website, the description of their offering underscores the need for city dwellers to reconnect with nature amidst the stress of urban life. The immersive forest walk promises to leave participants feeling centered and revitalized.

Yet, screenshots of Trove Experiences’ pricing have circulated widely, provoking outrage and mockery. Social media users have derided the notion of paying for a forest bathing experience in a park where grass-touching remains free. The viral post on X has garnered significant attention, with thousands of likes and comments reflecting widespread skepticism and humor.

The controversy surrounding Trove Experiences’ commercialization of Shinrin Yoku underscores broader questions about the ethical boundaries of monetizing sacred practices and the commodification of nature’s healing benefits. As debates continue, the clash between commercial interests and cultural reverence remains unresolved, leaving many to ponder the true essence of Shinrin Yoku amidst the uproar.

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Bengaluru

Tejasvi Surya Faces Backlash at Bengaluru Campaign Event

Tejasvi Surya faces criticism at Bengaluru campaign event as investors demand answers on Guru Raghavendra Co-operative Bank scam.

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Tejasvi Surya Faces Backlash at Bengaluru Campaign Event
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Bengaluru South MP Tejasvi Surya encountered a turbulent situation during a recent election campaign event in the city. The event, held at the Laxmanrao Imandar auditorium, took an unexpected turn when investors who had suffered losses in the multi-crore scam involving the Guru Raghavendra Sahakara Bank Niyamitha demanded accountability from the parliamentarian.

The investors, visibly frustrated by the delay in compensation for their losses, sought answers from Surya and other leaders present, including Basavanagudi BJP legislator L A Ravi Subramanya. Despite attempts by the leaders to assuage their concerns, the investors remained dissatisfied with the responses provided.

Footage from the event circulated on social media platforms, capturing the moment when Surya was escorted out of the venue by his security personnel. During his exit, he engaged in heated exchanges with some of the investors who approached him with their grievances.

The incident drew attention from various political quarters, with Karnataka Congress seizing the opportunity to criticize Surya’s handling of the situation. The party took to Twitter to highlight the MP’s departure from the event, characterizing it as an escape through an “emergency exit door.”

In response, Surya’s office released a statement accusing Congress workers of disrupting the meeting and attempting to derail the BJP’s campaign efforts. The statement condemned the alleged tactics employed by Congress workers, including pushing and shoving attendees, and emphasized the BJP’s commitment to a positive and development-oriented campaign.

The controversy surrounding the campaign event underscores the ongoing fallout from the Guru Raghavendra Co-operative Bank scam, which came to light in 2020. Despite efforts by regulatory authorities and the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation to mitigate the impact on depositors, many individuals remain uncompensated for their losses.

The Enforcement Directorate’s investigation into the scam revealed instances of fund misappropriation and financial irregularities, leading to the attachment of the bank’s properties worth Rs 159 crore. With over 15,000 depositors yet to receive full compensation, the Karnataka government’s decision to hand over the probe to the CBI reflects the seriousness of the situation.

As the election campaign in Bengaluru South unfolds, the incident involving Tejasvi Surya serves as a reminder of the challenges faced by politicians in addressing the grievances of affected constituents amidst ongoing controversies and political scrutiny.

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Bengaluru

Fatal Bike Accident in Bengaluru: Man Dead, Two Injured in Pit Fall

Tragedy struck in Bengaluru as a bike accident claimed a life and left two critically injured after plunging into a water pipeline pit. Get the details here.

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Fatal Bike Accident in Bengaluru: Man Dead, Two Injured in Pit Fall
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A tragic incident unfolded in Bengaluru, leaving one man dead and two others critically injured after their bike veered off the road and fell into a pit dug up for a water pipeline. The mishap occurred on Sunday, shocking locals and prompting questions about safety measures in construction zones.

According to police reports, the bike’s rider failed to notice the deep pit and drove straight into it. Despite efforts by locals to rush the injured to the hospital, one of the bikers succumbed to his injuries on the spot, while the other two are battling for their lives in critical condition.

Eyewitnesses lamented the lack of barricades or warning signboards near the pit, blaming civic authorities for negligence. A complaint lodged by one of the survivors demands action against the water board contractor responsible for the site.

In response, the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board refuted allegations of lax safety measures, asserting that barricades were indeed in place. However, they claimed that the riders were intoxicated, which led them to overlook the warning signs.

Ram Manohar, Chairman of the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board, emphasized that corrective measures would be taken pending the outcome of the police investigation. He cited reports suggesting that the bikers were performing a wheelie, a risky maneuver where the front wheel is lifted off the ground, contributing to the accident.

Regardless of the circumstances, the incident underscores the importance of safety protocols in construction areas and the need for both authorities and citizens to remain vigilant on the roads. As investigations continue, the hope is that lessons will be learned and actions taken to prevent such tragedies in the future.

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