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Tamil Nadu Minister K Ponmudy triggers row over casteist remarks

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Tamil Nadu Minister K Ponmudy triggers row over casteist remarks

When listing out the pride of the "Dravidian Model" at an event, Tamil Nadu Higher Education Minister K Ponmudy generated controversy when he asked a Mugaiyur Panchayat leader "You are from the downtrodden community right? You are from SC right?"

It's been a week since DMK MP A Raja's speech about Hinduism sparked debate. Now another controversy arose after the DMK minister's comments as it has received huge condemnation on social media from netizens.

At a government event at Villupuram, Tamil Nadu Higher Education Minister Ponmudy was listing out the achievements and pride of the 'Dravidian Model'. He said the Dravidian Model is the reason for women's reservation. He further said that earlier, women were suppressed in many ways but the "Dravidian Model" wants to give equal opportunity to women. He also said that the "Dravidian Model" provides equal opportunity to both men and women.

The controversy arose when the minister said, "See who is the chairman for this village? This 'Amma'." At that time, he asked the Mugaiyur Panchayat woman leader who was also on stage that "You are from a downtrodden community right? You are ST right?"

Later, people condemned Ponmudy's comments on stage and raised questions about how the minister can ask about someone's caste on stage. Dalit activists also sought an apology from the minister.

Dalit activist Shalin Maria Lawrence took to Twitter and reacted, "Minister Ponmudy should apologise for insulting Dalits. What a shame! The Dravidian Model has been corrupted by these casteist men. DMK leaders have always proved that they are not progressive in any way.

Dalits in important positions is a Constitutional remedy. I really don't know how DMK thinks that they have 'gifted' the positions to us like alms".


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