I was misquoted, was only paraphrasing Ambedkar's views: JNU VC on 'caste of gods' remark

“I was asked to speak on B. R. Ambedkar’s views on gender justice. I was paraphrasing him. You can see his writings. Why should people get angry with me?” said JNU Vice Chancellor Santishree Pandit

August 24, 2022 06:20 pm | Updated 06:20 pm IST - New Delhi

Jawahar Lal Nehru University Vice Chancellor Santishree D. Pandit

Jawahar Lal Nehru University Vice Chancellor Santishree D. Pandit | Photo Credit: V. V. Krishnan

After her “no god is upper caste” remark stoked controversy, JNU Vice Chancellor Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit on Wednesday defended her comments as an academic exercise and said she was misquoted on her comments.

She also said she is an academic first and people should get angry with B. R. Ambedkar for it was he who she was “paraphrasing.”

“I was asked to speak on B. R. Ambedkar’s views on gender justice. I was paraphrasing B. R. Ambedkar. You can see his writings. Why should people get angry with me? They should get angry with B. R. Ambedkar. Why am I being pulled into it,” Ms. Pandit told PTI.

Delivering the Dr B. R. Ambedkar Lecture Series titled 'Dr. B. R. Ambedkar's Thoughts on Gender Justice: Decoding the Uniform Civil Code', Ms. Pandit had on Monday said "anthropologically" gods do not belong to the upper caste and that even Lord Shiva could be from scheduled caste or tribe.

"I am an academic first, a professor. Why is an academic lecture being politicised? I am really scared to give any lecture in Delhi. Everything is misquoted. I am not an original thinker, I am a professor. I feel so hurt, why are people politicising it?" she asked.

During the lecture, the JNU VC had also said the "status of shudras given to women in Manusmriti" makes it extraordinarily regressive.

"Let me tell all women that all women according to Manusmriti are shudras so no woman can claim she is a Brahmin or anything else and it is only by marriage that you get the husband or father's caste on you. I think this is something which is extraordinarily regressive," she had said.

Taking about the recent caste violence involving a nine-year-old Dalit boy, she said that “no god belonged to the upper caste.”

“Most of you should know the origins of our gods anthropologically. No god is a brahmin, the highest is a kshatriya. Lord Shiva must be a scheduled caste or a scheduled tribe because he sits in a cemetery with a snake and has very little clothes to wear. I don’t think Brahmins can sit in the cemetery,” she had said.

She had also said that "anthropologically" gods, including Lakshmi, Shakti, or even Jagannath do not come from the upper caste. In fact, she said, Jagannath has tribal origins.

“So why are we still continuing with this discrimination which is very very inhuman. It is very important that we are rethinking, reorienting the thoughts of Babasaheb. We do not have any leader of modern India who was such a great thinker.”

Top News Today

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.