In an open letter to Hegde, Prakash Raj wrote that, “being secular does not mean that you don’t identify with any religion or belief”. Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Anant Kumar Hegde kicked off the storm with his controversial comment at the Brahmin Yuva Parishad Programme in Koppal district.
— Prakash Raj (@prakashraaj) December 25, 2017
While addressing the gathering, he said, “When it comes to it (secular), they point to the Constitution. Yes, we agree, it is included in the Constitution. They even refer to Manu Smriti. They don’t realise that Smritis are the statutes of the respective eras. Today, we follow Ambedkar ‘smriti’. We respect the Constitution and it has changed over time, several times; and it will change in the future. We are here to change the Constitution.”
“Those claiming to be secular and progressive do not have an identity of their parents and their blood. One will get self-respect through such identity. I will be happy if someone identifies as Muslim, Christian, Brahmin, Lingayat or Hindu. But trouble will arise if they say they are secular,” he continued.
Prakash Raj termed this statement of BJP leader as “cheap comments” and wondered how could he stoop “so low” level by commenting on one’s parenthood.
Karnataka chief Minister Siddaramaiah also lashed out on Hegde’s remark on secularism and said that Union Minster has no respect for constitution. He said “I do not want to stoop to his level. We know our language and culture. He is a Union minister but spits venom.”