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Siddi Community In Karnataka Gets Its First Lawmaker In Shantharama Siddi

In the ethnic group believed to be descendants of Bantu people of East Africa who were brought to India as indentured slaves, Shantharama Siddi (55), a BA Economics graduate is the first degree holder in Siddi community. 

Bengaluru| In the first for Siddi (tribal) community in Karnataka, Shantharama Budna Siddi became the first lawmaker, with Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala nominating him to the Karnataka Legislative Council, on Wednesday, along with four others.

For their contribution to society, Siddi (social service), Talwar Sabanna (education), Adagur H. Vishwanath (literature), C.P. Yogishwar (art), and Bharathi Shetty (social work) were nominated to the upper house.

After surprising the people in the political spectrum by its nominations for Rajya Sabha where BJP preferred party workers over senior leaders, the party has once again surprised all by its choice of candidates to the 75-member legislative council.

In the ethnic group believed to be descendants of Bantu people of East Africa who were brought to India as indentured slaves, Shantharama Siddi (55), a BA Economics graduate is the first degree holder in Siddi community. The community settled 400 years ago across Uttara Kannada, Belagavi, and Dharwad districts in the state. Shantaram, who is an RSS worker,  has been serving the Vanavasi Kalyana Karnataka (VKK) since 1989. He has also served in Western Ghats Taskforce constituted by the Karnataka government.

The Siddi community is believed to be an isolated and reclusive community. Though the community is mainly dependent on agriculture, it’s hard to find many landowners; most of them work as labourers in the fields instead.

Largely ignored by the successive governments and excluded from the mainstream political discourse, Siddi community’s socio-economic condition is poor and those migrate to bigger towns or cities find odd jobs.

Shantharama Siddi, a graduate from Hitalahalli, a village situated between Sirsi town and Yellapur in Uttara Kannada district, will now have a responsibility to represent his community which is largely ignored.

 

 

 

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