Bengaluru: In an act of defiance against the Karnataka government, former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy read out “anti-CAA poem" on the floor of the Assembly on Wednesday.
The poem, titled ‘Ninna Dakhale Yaavaga Needuttee?’ (When will you give your documents?) was penned by Siraj Bisaralli, who was arrested on charges of provoking breach of peace and causing public mischief after he recited the poem at an event. Rajabaxi, a journalist, who had shared the video of the recital on social media, was also arrested.
The poem, written in Kannada, has since been translated into about 13 languages.
Raising objection over the government filing cases against "anyone criticising the Citizenship Amendment Act", Kumaraswamy asked what was seditious about the poem.
Kumaraswamy also urged Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa to not “get a black spot” by trying to “appease” a few organisations. “You have reached this position in life because of your own struggles. You are not here to please some organisations…don’t try that, work for the population of six crore people,” he said.
He then went on to read out the text of the poem and said several poets had recited poems against the authorities in the past and there was nothing wrong in it, and similarly, Bisaralli, too, had committed no wrong. He cited several other poets in the past who had penned poems against the authorities.
Although not under sedition, Siraj and Rajabaxi were booked in January for intentional insult to provoke breach of trust and for statements conducing public mischief. The poem was recited at a government sponsored 'event Anegundi Utsav' held in Koppal district on January 9.
The two are accused in the FIR of misusing a government platform and making insulting statements against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Reading the poem, Kumaraswamy asked Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa under who's pressure he, a self-made man, was buckling.