DMK leader’s disparaging comments about Dalits, Brahmins trigger row

DMK Rajya Sabha member R.S. Bharathi has triggered a row by making disparaging remarks against the Scheduled Castes, Brahmins and television news channels. After a clip of the controversial speech, made at an intra-party forum recently, was made public, Mr. Bharathi expressed regret, saying he understood that his remarks had hurt Dalits.

At the event in question, Mr. Bharathi had said: “There is not a single Scheduled Caste judge in Madhya Pradesh. In Tamil Nadu, Kalaignar (former Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi) first appointed S. Varadarajan as a High Court judge, followed by many others. These appointments are nothing but alms provided by the Dravidian Movement.”

However, on Monday, the DMK leader told journalists, “I understood that my speech has hurt the SCs, and I express regret for the same. My intention was not to humiliate them, but to highlight the contributions made by Kalaignar to their welfare.”

In the video, Mr. Bharathi used disparaging words to describe BJP national secretary H. Raja and belittled temple priests while seeking to dispel the claim that the DMK was an anti-Hindu party.“Even in this hall, a lot of people have tilak on their foreheads. Priests are making money because DMK men are visiting temples. A ward secretary will give ₹100, a councillor ₹500 and an MLA ₹1,000 [as offering to a priest],” he said.


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