Former Karnataka chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on Wednesday slammed the Centre for excluding the South Indians from the 16-member expert panel constituted to study the origin and evolution of Indian culture for the last 12,000 years and its interface with different world cultures.
"It is very unfortunate that the expert committee does not have any Kannadigas or South Indians who know Dravidian culture. Is it possible to conduct a fair and unbiased study of Karnataka’s culture and heritage without having Kannadiga representatives in the committee? How can we think of studying the history and culture of the entire country by keeping South Indians out?," asked Kumaraswamy,
Stating that the committee had no woman member, Kumaraswamy said, "We are people who equate the country to our mother and the holy cow. How come a committee meant to study our culture that worships women does not have place for any woman?."
Further, Kumaraswamy said that he doubted the objectives of the proposed study as the committee had people prejudiced over our culture, history and heritage and had all members from North India. "The committee should be reconstituted," demanded the JDS leader, who has been opposing the "imposition" of Hindi on non-Hindi speaking states.
On September 14, Minister of State for Culture and Tourism Prahlad Singh Patel, in a written reply to the Lok Sabha, had informed about the constitution of the expert committee comprising K.N. Dikshit, Chairman, Indian Archaeological Society, New Delhi and former Joint Director General, Archaeological Survey of India; Dr. R.S. Bisht, former Joint Director General, Archaeological Survey of India; Dr B.R. Mani, former Director General, National Museum, New Delhi and former Additional Director General, Archaeological Survey of India; Prof. SantoshShukla, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi; Dr. Ramesh Kumar Pandey, Vice Chancellor, Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth, New Delhi; Prof. MakkhanLal, Director, Delhi Institute of Heritage Management,, Vivekananda International Foundation, New Delhi; Dr. G.N. Srivastava, former Additional Director General, Geographical Survey of India; Justice Dr. Mukundkam Sharma, Chancellor, LalBahadurShastri Sanskrit Vidyapeeth, Delhi and former Judge of Supreme Court of India; Prof. P.N. Shastri, Vice Chancellor, Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, New Delhi; Prof. R.C. Sharma, Head, Department of Linguistics, University of Delhi; Prof. K.K. Mishra, Dean, Anthropology, University of Hyderabad and former Director, Anthropological Survey of India; Dr. BalramShukla, Department of Sanskrit, University of Delhi; Prof. Azad Kaushik, Scientist and International Thinker, Canada; Pt. M.R. Sharma, Chairman, “Sangmarg” World Brahmin Federation, India, New Delhi; Representative from Ministry of Culture; and Representative from Archaeological Survey of India.