Kottayam: K Radhakrishnan, Kerala's Minister for Welfare of Scheduled Castes & Tribes, has mocked the caste system in the country by calling its initiators smarter than the scientists who launched Chandrayaan.
"I say sending a mission to moon wasn't as brilliant as creating the caste system," Radhakrishnan, who belongs to a Scheduled Caste community, said at a public function on Monday.
Radhakrishnan said that the success of the prevailing caste system in the country was proof that those who created it were visionaries. "Those who created the caste system had a clear idea. They had vision on how to keep people segregated.
"They were not ordinary people. Their intellect was greater than the scientists who launched the Chandrayaan. See, we are still staying separate, right? They divided people, made each caste think that they were better than those below them in the caste system," said Radhakrishnan.
Minister faced caste discrimination
Radhakrishnan shared an incident from a few weeks ago when he was discriminated against at a temple allegedly based on his caste.
Here is what the minister said:
"The other day I went to a function at a temple. The main pujari came forward to light the lamp. I thought he was going to give it to me, but he lit it himself. I assumed that was part of some custom; why meddle with custom, so I waited. He then handed over the light to his assistant. Again, I thought he'd give me the light, but he too did his part and put the lamp down.
They thought I would lift it from there and light the lamp. Should I have taken it off the ground and lit the lamp? I said to hell with it.
Later, I spoke about that during my address at the temple. You don't discriminate against the money I give, but you discriminate against me.
There is no discrimination for the money given by the poor. I said this with the pujari present. The money changes many hands, it goes from the hand of a butcher, or a fish seller; it comes out of their trousers. But you don't discriminate against that money, you just discriminate against the people."