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Pune mayor’s comments against reservation invite criticism

Pune mayor says that Brahmin youths prefer to go to foreign countries because of reservation in education and jobs

mumbai Updated: Apr 30, 2017 20:01 IST
Satyajit Joshi
Pune mayor Mukta Tilak.
Pune mayor Mukta Tilak.(HT)

After a section of the media reported that Pune mayor Mukta Tilak said Brahmin youths prefer to go to foreign countries because of reservation in jobs in the public sector and government-aided educational institutes, Opposition parties have condemned her remarks.

“We need to create a job atmosphere for them [ Brahmin youths] after their education is over,” Tilak, a three-time corporator from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), reportedly said at a function in Nashik on Friday. The function was organised by Chitpavan Brahmin Sangh on the occasion of Parashuram Jayanti.

Without mentioning the protest marches demanding reservation taken out by the Maratha community across the state, Tilak had allegedly said that Brahmins did not feel it was necessary to take out a march, but they also understood the importance of coming together. “Brahmins have become global citizens now and they have survived because of their courage and intelligence”, she was quoted as saying.

Opposition parties, particularly the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), have come out strongly against her remarks. Jitendra Awhad, NCP MLC, tweeted,”Those who suffered for ages because of caste system, did not leave the country. Those who enjoyed, went to foreign countries. Muktatai, this is country is ours”.

The NCP’s Pune unit held a dharna in front of Tilak’s house in Narayan Peth, old part of Pune city. A heavy police bandobast was deployed there. The Sambhaji Brigade has also condemned her statement.

Meanwhile, Tilak denied making any comments on reservation. “BJP has always supported reservation and my statement is being distorted”, she said. Tilak said she wanted to focus on the fact that no initiatives were taken in the past 60 years to attract local intelligent youth, who then had to settle in foreign countries.

A Whatsapp message, in which Tilak is reminded that she became the city’s mayor because of reservation, is also doing the rounds. Some also suggested that she should take care of reservation of lands in the city’s Development Plan (DP) instead of reservation for weaker sections of the society.

Mukta Tilak became Pune mayor last month. She is a relative of freedom fighter Lokmanya Tilak.

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