Temple priest confronts Kumaraswamy over his “anti Brahmin” remarks

PTI, Feb 8, 2023, 6:17 PM IST

Gokarna: Days after his controversial statement that Union Minister Pralhad Joshi belonged to a sect of Brahmins, which lacks culture and divides society, a temple priest here on Wednesday confronted JD(S) leader H D Kumarswamy, expressing displeasure over his remarks, and urged him to clarify.

Akhila Karnataka Brahmana Mahasabha has condemned Kumaraswamy’s ”anti Brahmin” statements and there are reports about protests condemning the JD(S) leaders from various parts of the state. Facing criticism from the community, political leaders, especially the BJP, and various sections, the former Chief Minister clarified that his statement was misconstrued, and it was not at all directed towards Brahmins.

”Your anti Brahmin statement has very much hurt us…..please don’t be upset because I’m saying this. We have regards for your family….I have earlier spoken to Deve Gowda (former PM and Kumaraswamy’s father) here and felicitated him, later he went on to become Chief Minister, Prime Minister and you too became the Chief Minister,” the priest told Kumaraswamy, who visited the temple.

He said, ”We are happy about your administration, but your recent comments have hurt us, I urge you to give a clarification to it here itself and go.” Kumaraswamy told the priest that he wants to make it clear that he is not anti Brahmin, and did not speak about the Brahmin community. and he was referring to BJP and Peshwas. ”We have great respect for the Brahmin community”, he said.

Noting that his comments have been misrepresented, he said, ”We always respect the Brahmins who have the culture of saying ‘Sarve jana sukhino bhavantu’, and he was referring to those who had destroyed Sringeri math.” Kumaraswamy had on Sunday claimed that the RSS was ”conspiring” to make Pralhad Joshi the Chief Minister of Karnataka along with eight Deputies, after the assembly polls, and alleged that the latter belonged to a category among Brahmins, which lack culture and divides society.

Coming down heavily on Joshi for criticising JD(S)’ ”dynasty politics” and its ‘Pancharatna Ratha Yatre’, he said, the union minister belongs to a Brahmin sect to which the Maratha Peshwas belonged and that had allegedly destroyed Sringeri Math, established by Adi Shankaracharya and desecrated the idol there, and also that killed Mahatma Gandhi.

Criticising JD(S)’ dynasty politics and alleged infighting in the first family of that party over ticket distribution, Joshi while addressing BJP’s special state executive meet had on Saturday said, ”they are taking out ‘Pancharantna Yatra’, but instead they should have undertaken ‘Navagraha Yatre’, as 8-9 family members of party patriarch H D Deve Gowda’s immediate family are in politics.

Kumaraswamy after the temple visit, told media that he has been complimented by many for his statement and courage.

”People have told him that he has stated facts and something that makes people aware. Many Brahmin community people have complimented me,” he said, while listing out his contributions for the Brahmin community, when he was in power.

Hitting out at the ruling BJP, Kumaraswamy said, ”What I have said is we don’t want Savarkar culture and DNA. We want the Brahmin community with DNA of Sarve jana sukhino bhavantu.”

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