Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla’s recent remarks praising Brahmins were condemned widely on Tuesday.

At a meeting of the Akhil Brahmin Mahasabha in Rajasthan’s Kota city on Sunday, Birla had said Brahmins were held in high regard from birth because of their dedication, sacrifice, and for the guidance they provide to other communities.

Brahmin community always works towards guiding all other communities, and the community has always held a guiding role in this nation,” The Indian Express quoted him as saying. “It has always played a role in spreading education and values in the society. And even today if just one Brahmin family lives in a village or a hutment, then that Brahmin family always holds a high position due to its dedication and service…hence, Brahmins are held in high regard in society by the virtue of their birth.”

Birla made similar comments in a tweet the same day, and posted images from the event.

The Speaker, who was elected to Parliament from Kota, said Yuvak Yuviti Parichay Sammelan, or youth introduction meetings for Brahmin families searching for prospective brides and grooms, was the only way to save Indian society.

“If we want to bind the society together, then there is only one arrangement today; like our ancestors used to forge alliances for marriage, we today have parichay sammelan, and if we want to save the society, then this is the lone alternative,” he said.

The state president of People’s Union for Civil Liberties Kavita Srivastava asked Birla to withdraw his remarks, and said his statements establish a community’s supremacy and were against Article 14 of Constitution. She said the remarks demeaned other castes and promoted casteism. Srivastava said she would send a complaint letter to President Ram Nath Kovind.

Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani sought Birla’s apology. “This celebration of Indian caste system is not only condemnable but also cringe-worthy,” he tweeted. “It’s a joke on us that a casteist like him is our Lok Sabha speaker. He should publicly apologise for this attitude.”

He added: “It’s a tragedy that such people take oath on our Constitution that wants to annihilate the caste system.”

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