Bengaluru (PTI): Normal life is likely to be affected, especially in the southern part of the state, with pro-Kannada and farmers' organisations calling for Karnataka Bandh' on Friday to protest the release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu.

Kannada Okkuta', an umbrella organisation for Kannada outfits including factions of Karnataka Rakshana Vedike, Kannada Chalavali (Vatal Paksha) and various farmers' bodies have given a call for the statewide dawn-to-dusk shutdown.

There will be a massive protest procession from Town Hall to Freedom Park in the city, in which people from all walks of life are likely to participate, the organisers said.

They have said that the bandh is for the entire Karnataka and that they will try to shut highways, toll gates, rail services, and also airports.

The opposition BJP and JD(S) too have extended their support to the bandh, as also hotels, autorickshaws and hail riders associations in Karnataka.

"Autorickshaw Drivers' Union and Ola Uber Drivers and Owners' Association (OUDOA) are supporting the bandh. We will take out a rally from Nayandahalli to the Freedom Park tomorrow," its president Tanveer Pasha told PTI.

An office bearer of the Karnataka State Private Schools' Association told PTI that they were extending moral support' to the bandh.

"We have told our association members to use their discretion regarding the bandh. We have communicated to our students that there are chances of schools remaining shut," the office-bearer said.

The Bruhath Bangaluru Hotel Association has extended its 'moral support' to the strike. However, they were holding a meeting to take a final decision on whether to keep the restaurants and eateries shut for the whole day on Friday.

Meanwhile, the State Transport Department has issued directions to the state transport corporations to continue their services as usual.

Farmers and traders in the northern part of Karnataka such as Ballari, Kalaburagi, Bidar, Bagalkote, Vijayapura, Yadgir, Hubballi-Dharwad, Gadag, Haveri, Koppal and Davangere have extended their moral support' to the bandh but said they will not shut down their businesses.

Meanwhile, a few activists on Thursday staged protests in the Cauvery heartland of Mandya against the release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu. They have been staging agitation for the past 15 days.

They alleged that the state government had been lenient towards Tamil Nadu and had not been pursuing the matter properly.

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New Delhi, Dec 11: The Centre on Monday defended the change in the National Medical Commission's logo to feature Dhanwantari -- the physicians of the Gods in Hindu mythology -- instead of a secular emblem, saying it was part of India's heritage and everyone must feel proud of it.

When the TMC's Santanu Sen raised the issue of the change in the logo through a Zero Hour mention in the Rajya Sabha, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said Dhanwantari is a symbol of Indian medical science.

"(It was) already a part of the (Commission's) logo and just some colour has been added and nothing more," he said.

"This is India's heritage. I feel we should feel proud (about it)," he added.

The minister said the logo is designed by taking inspiration from the country's heritage.

"This is a symbol of medical science ... someone who had done so much research in medical science. We have used the photo with no other intention."

The Medical Council of India (MCI) logo was adopted in 1934 after the Indian Medical Council Act, 1933, was enacted.

The law defined medicine as "modern scientific medicine and includes surgery and obstetrics" and the logo used was based on the international symbol for medicine -- the staff of Aesclepius, the Greek god of medicine and healing.

The logo also featured a snake wound around the staff.

While there has been no official announcement of a change in the Commission's logo, a black and white logo with the depiction of Dhanwantari at the centre reportedly appeared in December 2022. The colourised version appeared a couple of months later.

Raising the issue through a Zero Hour mention, Sen demanded the restoration of the National Medical Commission's previous logo.

He said the Indian Medical Council Act of 1956 was repealed in 2020 despite objections from different corners of society and the medical fraternity.

"The National Medical Commission came into force from 25th September 2020, repealing the 64-year-old Indian Medical Council Act, 1956," he added.

Earlier it was termed as "western medicine", then it became "medicine" and finally it was termed as "modern medicine", Sen said and added that the logo of modern medicine is the staff of Aesclepius.

"And there was no need and there was no permissible condition, so far as the National Medical Commission is concerned, that this logo can be changed. But, unfortunately, we have seen in the recent past, I don't know (if it is) because of government instruction or by the National Medical Commission itself, they have changed the logo and they have brought a photograph of Dhanwantari in the logo," Sen said.

The "change of logo was absolutely not needed. It symbolises one particular religion," he added.

The National Medical Commission, he said, regulates medical curriculum and sanctions new medical colleges.

"Its function is not to promote any particular religion. Even the Ayush department did not change its logo but the National Medical Commission has," the TMC MP said.

"It is against the basic oath which doctors take after passing MBBS. They take the oath that we will treat each and every patient irrespective of their caste, creed or religion. We are not bound to treat one particular religion," he said.

The change of logo, he said, was against the basic essence of the Indian Constitution which, through Article 25 and 26 after the 42nd Amendment in 1976, states that India is a secular country.

"And we should promote the dovetailing of religion," Sen said and demanded that the National Medical Commission immediately restore the previous logo that did not symbolise any particular religion.