Loksatta Edior, Kumar Ketkar, found himself in a soup on Saturday, following his outburst on the evolving face of the Brahmin caste, which he said had taken to eating beef, and inter caste marriages making it almost indistinguishable from other castes.
Ketkar, who is as much a celebrated orator as he is an editor, was forced to abruptly end his key note address, at the a national level convention organised by the Brahmin sabha, at rangnath Mandir, in Parbhani on Saturday evening after a section of the 60,000 people present, took control of stage and pulled him down.
Realising the wrath of the youth, the police finally sneaked Ketkar into a police van, averting a near violent situation. It took all the skills of the police to get Ketkar out from the venue when the women folk at the convention, taking strong exception to Ketkar's statement that Brahmin girls were now freely marrying Muslim girls, tried to intercept his vehicle.
Though the mob did pelt stone no one was reported to be injured, police said. Later at the police station, Ketkar said he did not wish to lodge any complaint against anybody though he stuck to his statement, saying it was his democratic right to give expression to his thoughts.
Sharad Lavekar, spokesperson for the Brahman Sabha, that organised the convention said, the aggression that some youths showed was not a spontaneous one. "Ketkar kept on repeating his attacks on the Brahmins, demeaning the community generalising stray instances of brahmins who had taken to flesh eating, inter caste marriages or those who had discarded the use of kuku, (the vermillion that married women ware on their forehead), as symbols of an extinguishing caste.
The convention after all was organised to help community members to discuss way in which it could move forward and not indulge in biased criticism, Lavekar said, adding that the second day of the convention would continue as scheduled on Sunday.
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