Gujarat Speaker calls BR Ambedkar and Narendra Modi 'Brahmins', Lord Krishna 'OBC'; remarks draw flak

Gujarat Assembly speaker Rajendra Trivedi on Saturday triggered a row when he said that both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Dr BR Ambedkar belonged to the Brahmin community, and described Lord Krishna as an "OBC".

According to ANI, Trivedi, while addressing a 'Mega Brahmin Business Summit' in Gandhinagar, said: "I've no hesitation in saying that Ambedkar was a Brahmin. His surname, Ambedkar, a Brahmin surname, was given by his teacher, a Brahmin. It is not wrong to call a learned person a Brahmin. In that context, I'll say Modiji is also a Brahmin."

Gujarat Speaker calls BR Ambedkar and Narendra Modi Brahmins, Lord Krishna OBC; remarks draw flak

File image of Gujarat Assembly speaker Rajendra Trivedi. Source: News18

Going a step further, Trivedi said that Lord Krishna was an OBC who was made god by Rishi Sandipani and Lord Ram was a Kshatriya, but it was only rishis who made him a god.

According to a report in The Indian Express, Triveni said that the "learned" Brahmin community has never been "power hungry" and was instrumental in the success of kings such as Chandragupta Maurya, and of gods such as Lord Ram and Lord Krishna.

"Brahmins made the gods, and I have always said that Lord Ram was a Kshatriya, but it was the rishi-munis (sages) who made him a god. The shepherd of Gokul… who made this OBC a god? It was Sandipani Rishi, a Brahmin," the Gujarat Assembly Speaker was quoted as saying by the report.

Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel were also present at the event sponsored by the state-run Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation. Speaking at the event later, Rupani endorsed Trivedi's views when he said that, "… rishi-munis were Brahmins. Rajendrabhai is right."

Speaking to News18, Trivedi cited the Bhagavad Gita to defend his remarks. "Caste is decided by a person’s work and not his birth. A man is a Brahmin by the work he does in his life. A learned person is a Brahmin as per the Gita," he said.

North-West Delhi MP Udit Raj slammed Trivedi for his objectionable remarks. News18 quoted him as saying: "The remarks are objectionable and undesirable. He (Trivedi) doesn't realise that he is causing irreparable damage to the party with such statements."

The controversial remarks come at a time when a Dalit uprising is being observed throughout the country. Recently, the NDA government had asked state and Central departments to avoid the nomenclature 'Dalit' when describing members belonging to Scheduled Castes for all official transactions, according to this Firstpost report.

The directive was issued just days before the matter related to certain provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes came up in the Supreme Court on 20 March. The apex court ruling had triggered massive protests across the country by Dalit organisations.

Earlier this year, the Uttar Pradesh government had tried to usurp Babasaheb Ambedkar as a Hindu icon, by highlighting his father's name, Ramji. The Yogi Adityanath-led dispensation had decided to introduce Ambedkar's middle name 'Ramji' in all references to him in state's official correspondence and records, sparking controversy.

On Sunday, the Madhya Pradesh Police had come under the spotlight after photographs of its newly-recruited constables sporting markings of 'SC', 'ST', 'OBC' on their chests went viral. According to sources, the officers resorted to this method to segregate recruits and ensure they were given the benefit of relaxation in selection norms. But the rudimentary and discriminatory nature of the system drew flak on social media.

With inputs from agencies.

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Updated Date: Apr 30, 2018 12:18:33 IST