Tribal boy asked to remove Tamil Nadu minister's footwear, social media enraged
In the now-viral video, the Tamil Nadu forest minister can be seen calling a boy from outside the frame to unbuckle his shoes.
Tamil Nadu' Forest Minister Dindigul C Srinivasan is facing massive outrage over a case of alleged caste supremacy. The minister can be seen made a tribal boy remove his slippers during the inauguration of an event in Theppakkadu near Udhgagamandalam on Thursday, a video of which went viral drawing flak from the DMK and a section of social media users.
This is shocking VVIP racism. TN forest minister Dindigul C Sreenivasan calls two tribal boys and asks them to remove his slippers so that he can enter a shrine!!!#Mudumalai #VVIPRacism #TamilNadu pic.twitter.com/FDD4Cbdkud— Shilpa Nair (@NairShilpa1308) February 6, 2020
The incident occurred when Forest Minister Dindigul C Srinivasan came to inaugurate the elephant rejuvenation camp in Theppakkadu, in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, 40 kms from Udhgagamandalam.
Facing criticism, the Minister, a senior AIADMK leader, sought to downplay the incident, saying the boy was like his 'grandson' and what happened was 'coincidental' and that his intention was not to hurt anyone.
DMK President M K Stalin hit out at Srinivasan, saying he had "violated oath" taken as a minister. When Srinivasan along with the district collector and other officials were proceeding to the camp, he called a tribal boy and asked him to remove his footwear so as to enter a temple there and perform pooja.
The boy readily obliged and removed the slippers in full public view. It is not clear as to why Srinivasan asked the boy to remove his footwear. The incident also caused outrage on the social media with several condemning it and seeking action against the Minister under the SC/ST Act.
Brazen act of caste supremacy from TN Minister Dindugal Sreenivasan. Calls tribal boy to remove the buckle on his slippers during inauguration of rejuvenation camp for captive elephants in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve. @thenewsminute pic.twitter.com/fr0wSt9C09— priyankathirumurthy (@priyankathiru) February 6, 2020
Outrage over TN Minister getting tribal boy to unbuckle slippers pic.twitter.com/zGXgw5PVH5— Poornima Murali (@nimumurali) February 6, 2020
Feeling shame to have him as our Minister.— Naveen N (@iamyournaveen) February 6, 2020
Dindigul Srinivasan asking Tribal boy to remove his sleepers to enter shrine.
Most hatred & Most disgusting Man.
He should be sacked from d cabinet with an immediate effect. pic.twitter.com/x0rBww6oEl
In his defence, the Minister said he didn't know who the boy was.
"He looked like my grandson. I called him and asked to remove the buckle of my footwear which he did. That is all. I don't even know who he was. It was just a coincidence," he told reporters.
Saying that it was not proper for some to rake up the issue, he said he did not intend to hurt anyone. Stalin, also the Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly, lashed out at Srinivasan over the episode. A couple of state Ministers were "violating the oath taken under the Constitution and Srinivasan has also done the same," he said.
"People are watching it," he said, and sought to bring it to the notice of Chief Minister K Palaniswami.
(With agency inputs)