Brahmins have always been higher: Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla stirs row with casteist remark

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Brahmins have always been higher: Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla stirs row with casteist remark

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla has stirred controversy after making allegedly casteist remarks on Twitter.

The Speaker who was attending a Brahmin body meet said that Brahmins have always held a high position in society.

Om Birla wrote on Twitter, "Brahmins have always held a high position in society. This position is the result of their sacrifice, penance. This is the reason why Brahmin society has always played a guiding role in society."

The Lok Sabha Speaker had made the remark after attending a meeting of the Akhil Brahmin Mahasabha in his constituency Kota on Sunday.

Om Birla's comment has drawn the ire of the public with many calling for his resignation as Lok Sabha Speaker.

Gujarat MLA and Dalit activist Jignesh Mevani asked Om Birla to publicly apologise for his support to the caste system.

"This celebration of the Indian caste system is not only condemnable but also cringe-worthy! It's a joke on us that a casteist like him is our Loksabha speaker. He should publicly apologise for this attitude," Jignesh Mevani wrote on Twitter.

Even civil rights body People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) has condemned Om Birla's remarks.

The body said that Birla's tweet was in contravention of Article 14 of the Indian Constitution.

Article 14 reads as "The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India."

"We strongly condemn [Om Birla's] statement. It is against Article 14 of the Constitution to establish the domination of any community, to declare any community as superior to other communities. This, in a way, gives a sense of inferiority to other communities. Encourages casteism," said a statement issued by PUCL Rajasthan.

The body has also said it will be taking up the matter with President Ram Nath Kovind.