The Leaflet

| @theleaflet_in | September 11,2019

[dropcap]L[/dropcap]OK Sabha Speaker Om Birla is under fire over his controversial remarks praising Brahmins for their social standing at a function in Kota on September 8.

At the Akhil Brahmin Mahasabha which is his Lok Sabha constituency, Birla declared the “Brahmin community had always had a guiding role in the country.” Birla noted the role of the Brahmins in spreading education and values and argued they were held in high regard in society by “virtue of their birth”.

Subsequently, Birla put out a tweet, saying, “Brahmins have always held a high position in society. This place is the result of his sacrifice, penance. This is the reason why Brahmin community has always been in the role of guide.”

However, his comments have evoked sharp criticism with many poting out how Birla has brought disrepute to his constitutional post. People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) Rajasthan has lashed out against the Lok Sabha Speaker in strong words. In a statement, it has demanded that the Lok Sabha Speaker takes back his tweet on Brahmins. “We strongly condemn this statement. One, it is against Article 14 of the Constitution to establish the domination of any community, to declare any community as superior to other communities. This, in a way, gives sense of inferiority to other communities. Encourages casteism.”

PUCL Rajasthan said it would complain to the President against the Lok Sabha Speaker’s tweet on Brahmins.

It added, “How can a person make this kind of a statement publicly while being on a Constitutional post. PUCL condemns this statement in strong words and demands Honourable Lok Sabha Speaker to take back this statement. Along with that, we will send complaint about this to the Honourable President as well.”

Here’s a collection of Twitter reactions:

Incidentally, in July Justice V Chitambaresh, a sitting judge of the Kerala High Court, had also courted controversy by glorifying Brahmins and their virtues. In his speech at the Tamil Brahmin’s Global Meet, Justice V Chitambaresh had listed out the features of being a Brahmin.

Claiming that a Brahmin had all the good qualities that one could list, he had elaborated that “He has got certain distinct characteristics: clean habits, lofty thinking, sterling character, mostly a vegetarian, a lover of Carnatic music. All good qualities rolled into one is a Brahmin.”

He, however, had maintained that he was expressing opinions in individual capacity and not as someone holding a constitutional post.

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