Remarks on Brahmins misconstrued, says HDK | Bengaluru - Hindustan Times
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Remarks on Brahmins misconstrued, says HDK

By, Bengaluru
Feb 08, 2023 01:04 AM IST

“I have made some personal remarks. But no community has been criticised. I said he belongs to a community that killed (Mahatma) Gandhi and (Marathi ruler) Shivaji. I had no intention to hurt any community,” he added.

Amid a row over his remarks that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is trying to project Union minister Pralhad Joshi as the next chief minister of the state, and that he lacks culture and divides society, Janata Dal (Secular) legislature party leader H D Kumaraswamy on Tuesday said his statement was misconstrued as he had not blamed all Brahmins.

Janata Dal (Secular) legislature party leader H D Kumaraswamy (HT)
Janata Dal (Secular) legislature party leader H D Kumaraswamy (HT)

“I have not done politics in the name of caste. When I listen to the complaints of the public, I do not ask what caste they belong to. From the beginning, our family has respected all the communities. I stand by my statement. I do not have a background of insulting any community, Brahmins or Dalits. Anyone can become chief minister or MLA in this country. There are MPs and MLAs from different backgrounds. But we have to bow to the referendum,” he told reporters in Bengaluru.

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“I have made some personal remarks. But no community has been criticised. I said he belongs to a community that killed (Mahatma) Gandhi and (Marathi ruler) Shivaji. I had no intention to hurt any community,” he added.

The former chief minister’s fresh clarification came after religious leaders condemned his remarks and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) seeking an apology from him.

Elections for the 224-member assembly seat are slated to be held this year.

On Sunday, Kumaraswamy had said: “A conspiracy in the RSS is under way to make Pralhad Joshi the chief minister of the state after the assembly polls. Joshi does not belong to a culture that is most prominent in southern Karnataka.”

His remarks were in response to Joshi’s statement that the JD(S) should have undertaken a “Navagraha Yatra ” instead of Pancharatna Yatra (party rally) “as 8-9 members of the party patriarch H D Deve Gowda’s immediate family are in politics”.

He added: “... The BJP is preparing to make Prahlad Joshi the next chief minister and there will be eight deputy chief ministers after the elections. I have warned people to be careful as Joshi comes from a subsect who were behind Gandhi’s killing. They have the same DNA of division… He belongs to the category that divides the country, indulges in conspiracy politics, massacres those who contributed to the country in the name of patriotism.”

Kumaraswamy further appealed to the Veerashaivas, Vokkaligas, Backward Classes and Dalit communities not to fall prey to the conspiracy of the BJP and RSS which would divide the state.

Hitting back, state BJP president Nalin Kumar Kateel said the JD(S) leader’s remarks are unbecoming of a former chief minister and his claims about eight or nine deputy chief ministers are borne out of a mindset that is rooted in dynastic politics.

Revenue minister R Ashoka also condemned Kumaraswamy’s remarks on Brahmins.

“Talking down about any caste like this does not bring glory to the former chief minister. While it seems that he is speaking out of helplessness and frustration, knowing that the JD(S) will lose the next elections. I demand that he immediately apologise to the Brahmin community,” Ashoka said.

Religious leaders also condemned Kumaraswamy’s remarks.

Vishwarprasanna Tirtha, seer of Pejawar mutt, asked what is wrong if a Brahmin becomes the chief minister. “Brahmins are less in numbers, and don’t have a strong voice. They are in minority due to which such things happen. What’s wrong if a Brahmin becomes the chief minister? They too are citizens of the country,” the seer said.

Brahmin Mahasabha chief Ashok Haranahalli said Kumaraswamy’s statement has disappointed the community, and as a chief minister candidate, he must unite all communities.

Facing flak over his remarks, Kumaraswamy on Monday said was not “anti-Brahmin” and was not against the idea of a Brahmin becoming a chief minister.

Joshi is currently Union minister of parliamentary affairs, coal and mines and represents the Dharwad Lok Sabha segment. Joshi, who is close to the RSS, was also a frontrunner to replace BJP leader B S Yediyurappa, when he was forced to step down as chief minister in July 2021.

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