Shantaram, an activist from the Siddi community, has been nominated to the Legislative Council in Karnataka. He becomes the first member from the community to find a place in a legislative body.
The Bharatiya Janata Party government in Karnataka has nominated Shantaram Siddi, an activist from Siddi community, as Member of Legislative Council. With this nomination, Shantaram becomes the first member from the microscopic minority community in the country to find a place in a legislative body.
Shantaram Siddi holds a BA degree, also the first in his community.
Who is Shantarama Siddi?
Shantarama, who has been working as a social worker, joined Vanavasi Kalyanashram in 1989 as a karyakarta and served as hostel warden. Today, he is the secretary and pranta hitraksha pramukh for the outfit, a tribal welfare initiative of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
Shantarama’s name was among the five members whom Governor Vajubhai Vala nominated to the Legislative Council.
“He (Shantaram) is the first Siddi to make it to the Karnataka Legislature. He is a graduate from Hitalahalli village situated between Sirsi town and Yellapur in Uttara Kannada district. He is Vanavasi Kalyan Ashram’s state secretary,” RSS leader Vadiraj told PTI.
Who are the Siddis?
The Siddis are said to have descended from the people of the East African region. They were brought to India by Portuguese merchants about four centuries ago. They are included in the list of the Scheduled Tribes in Karnataka.
About 50,000 Siddi people live in the country today. Of the 50,000, more than a third live in northern Karnataka. They speak their own language called Siddi Basha.
Apart from Shantarama, the Governor also nominated CP Yogeshwar, AH Vishwanth, Bharathi Shetty and Talwar Sabanna to the Upper House of the state legislature.