Noted author Ashis Nandy today stoked a major row with his comments that people belonging to OBC, SC and ST communities were the “most corrupt”, remarks that came under all round attack.
“It is a fact that most of the corrupt come from OBCs and Scheduled Castes and now increasingly the Scheduled Tribes,” he said participating in a session at the ongoing Jaipur Literature Festival.
Going further, he said, “I will give an example. One of the states with the least amount of corruption is state of West Bengal when the CPI(M) was there. And I must draw attention to the fact that in the last 100 years, nobody from OBC, SC and ST has come anywhere near to power. It is an absolutely clean state.”
He was immediately challenged by one of the panelists Ashutosh, a TV journalist.
“This is the most bizarre statement I have heard. The Brahmins and the upper cast can do away with all the corruption but when a low caste person emulates the same thing it becomes so wrong. Such a statement is not right,” he said.
Nandy’s comments triggered a storm with BSP chief Mayawati and LJP leader Ram Vilas demanding registration of case under SC/ST Act against Nandy. Mayawati wanted him to be jailed immediately. Congress, BJP, JD(U), CPI as also the SC Commission Chairman P L Punia also condemned the remarks.
While seeking to clarify, Nandy made a flip flop saying he would apologise if he had been misunderstood.
However, when questioned further, he said “I don’t apologise at all because I hold it very close to my heart. I was, in fact, supporting the cause of those who are marginalised and those who are in minority and those who are oppressed. I have spent all my life supporting their causes and will continue doing it.”
He said he actually meant that if people from OBC, SC and ST indulge in corruption, it is “corruption indeed” while those from upper caste can go scotfree.