Kerala HC judge’s pitch for economic quota for Brahmins stirs hornet’s nest
Kerala high court judge Justice V Chidambaresh’s remarks at the Global Tamil Brahmins’ meet in Kochi last week that it is time to end caste-based reservation and that Brahmins should demand economic reservation has triggered a controversy with the state government and a Dalit activist saying such comments were never expected from a sitting judge.
Inaugurating the two-day meet last Friday the judge said Brahmins should ask for economic reservation rather than caste or communal reservation. “Occupying a constitutional post, it may not be proper for me to express any opinion. I am not expressing my opinion at all. But I am only kindling your interest or reminding you that there is a platform for you to agitate or voice your concern about economic reservation alone, and not caste or communal reservation,” he said.
He also said a Brahmin is a twice born and should be at the helm of affairs.”Who is Brahmin? He is a ‘dwijanma,’ twice born. Because of ‘purvajanmasuhrudam’ he is twice born. He has got certain distinct qualities - clean habits, lofty thinking, sterling character, mostly a vegetarian and a lover of Carnatic music. All qualities rolled into one is Brahmin,” he said adding a Brahmin should always be at the helm of affairs.
He said the community was not vocal enough for its demands. “Only the crying child will get milk. Time has come for us to play an orchestra not solo. More veda padasalas which are dwindling now should be encouraged. The rich cultural heritage should be protected,” he said. Justice Chidambaresh was made a judge of the High Court in 2012.
But the state government was not amused by his speech. “What is lurking his mind has come out now. We never expected such a speech from a sitting judge. Let authorities take note of it,” Kerala’s law and culture minister A K Balan said Wednesday.
Justice Chidambaresh also came under fire from a Dalit activist for his comments.
“How can a judge who is also the custodian of the Constitution say this? His intention is crystal clear. How can he hear a case involving a person from the socially weaker section? It is a serious issue,” said Dalit activist Sunny M Kappikad.
However Kerala Brahimin Sabha president Karimpuzha Raman, also an organizer of the global event, said “the judge’s words were twisted deliberately to make it an issue.”
“If you hear the whole speech you can understand what he said. But if you take bits and pieces from the speech you can interpret it differently,” he said.
Many others took to social media to flay him but many others supported him saying “what he said was cent per cent right.”