SC-ST panel to probe Chief Whip’s remarks

The State SC-ST Commission will investigate the ‘derogatory’ remarks made by Government Chief Whip P.C. George about the Scheduled Castes even as Mr. George claims that his remarks were actually pro-Dalit.

The commission, at an urgent meeting held on Monday to consider the alleged insulting remarks made by the Chief Whip in a speech at the Thiruvananthapuram Press Club on Friday, decided to hold an inquiry. “We have decided to investigate the remarks and present a report to the government within three months,” commission chairman P.N. Vijayakumar told The Hindu. The remarks were telecast by television channels.

Section 7 of the rules framed under the Commission for SC-ST Act, 2007 empowers the commission to order a ‘local inquiry’ into complaints of harassment of members of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.

In his talk, Mr. George had allegedly said that SC-ST politicians and bureaucrats were looking for ‘fair-skinned girls’ from orphanages to marry as these people were ashamed of their caste identities and wanted to conceal their origins.

Mr. George, however, told The Hindu that he had not made any derogatory remarks. In fact, he claimed, his remarks were intended to help the SCs. The talk was given at a ceremony held to honour a Dalit man who was made a member of the executive committee of the Lalithakala Akademi. “How can I make a derogatory remark about the Dalits at such ceremony?”

‘Fair-skinned girls’

He said that in his speech he had referred to his visit to an orphanage in Kottayam district recently. The orphanage was home to several pretty, fair-skinned girls who had been abandoned by their parents who apparently were from higher castes. It was in this context that he mentioned about Dalit politicians and bureaucrats who opted to marry fair-skinned girls in order to hide their own origins.

He had also said that well-placed Dalit people were often ashamed of their origins and were reluctant to do anything good for their community. “What is the use of these Dalit MLAs and IAS-IPS officers for their own community?” “At best they can make their children IAS-IPS officers too.” Mr. George said most Dalits holding high positions had no commitment to their own community.

“I have made such observations at many meetings in the past two years,” he said. “They are not anti-Dalit, but absolutely pro-Dalit.”

He said he was a patron of the Dalit Human Rights Movement, whose members were arrested by the former Left Democratic Front government branding them as extremists. He also alleged that the complaint against him was made by the Pattika Jathi Samrakshana Samiti, a Dalit organisation floated by the Communist Party of India (Marxist).

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Printable version | Dec 1, 2021 4:06:34 PM |

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