Kerala High Court judge Justice V Chitambaresh has courted controversy by praising the virtues of Brahmins and claiming that a person with the qualities of a Brahmin should always be at the helm of affairs, Bar and Bench reported on Tuesday.

“Now who is a Brahmin?” Chitambaresh asked at the Tamil Brahmins Global Meet held on Friday. “A Brahmin is dwijhanmana – twice born – because of poorvajanmasuhridham, he is twice born. He has got certain distinct characteristics: clean habits, lofty thinking, sterling character, mostly a vegetarian, a lover of Carnatic music. All good qualities rolled into one is a Brahmin.”

“It may be noted that a Brahmin is never communal, he is always considerate, he is an ahimsavadi [proponent of nonviolence],” Chitambaresh continued. “He loves people, he is one who liberally donates for any laudable cause. Such a person should always be at the helm of affairs for which this Tamil Brahmin meet will definitely be a turning point.”

Chitambaresh also commented against caste-based reservations, without expressing any opinion explicitly. “It is time for you to deliberate as to whether reservation should be on the basis of community or caste alone,” he said. “Occupying a constitutional post, it may not be proper for me to express any opinion – I am not expressing my opinion at all. But I am only kindling your interest or reminding you that there is a platform for you to agitate or to voice your concern about economic reservation alone, and not caste or communal reservation.”

Chitambaresh conceded that there is 10% reservation for economically backward upper castes but said: “A son of a Brahmin cook, even if he falls within the non-creamy layer zone, will not get any reservation. Whereas, a son of a timber merchant who belongs to other backward communities will get reservation if he is within the non-creamy layer zone. I am not expressing any opinion at all, it is for you to deliberate and put forward your opinion.”