Not an Insult: Vijayan on Being Referred to as Toddy Tapper’s Son
Congress’ K Sudhakaran referred to Pinarayi Vijayan’s family as a toddy tapper’s, which many saw as casteist slur.
Two days after controversy broke out over Congress leader K Sudhakaran’s casteist jibe against Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, the latter laughed off the remark, saying he sees nothing wrong in it.
Sudhakaran referred to the Pinarayi Vijayan’s family as a toddy tapper’s and the CM responded saying it was not insulting to him in any way. During his 6pm press conference on Friday, he said he is proud to be a toddy tapper’s son.
“I have earlier said that I am the son of a toddy tapper. My elder brother too was one and continued the work as long as he was healthy. Another brother also knew the job but he began a bakery later. I am proud of it. I don’t see it as humiliating, when someone says I am a toddy tapper's son. Sudhakaran knows me from Brennen college days (college in Kannur where both leaders come from). I don’t see it as an insult when he calls me a toddy tapper's son,” CM Pinarayi said, smiling.
Sudhakaran, a Member of Parliament (MP) from Kannur, had made the remark while criticising the CM’s use of helicopter earlier. He was referring to the luxurious choices of a CM who had come from such humble backgrounds as a toddy tapping family.
While the issue became a controversy, Sudhakaran stood by his words, claiming there was nothing wrong in what he said, and that he meant no casteist attack.
Pinarayi Vijayan also spoke of the increased number of tests for COVID-19 in the state, which has been unable to keep the numbers low for the past several months. On Friday, 5,610 new cases were detected, after 91,931 samples were tested, which puts the test positivity rate at 6.1%.
The testing numbers have been drastically increased in the last few days. However, the cases have not increased proportionately, suggesting a slow reduction. The total number of active cases in the state is 67,795, about 5,000 less than the number on 28 January. In one week, there has been a reduction of 5% in the cases. '
Vaccination for health workers will soon be over, and it will be soon applied for other frontline workers. Once that too is over, vaccines will be administered for the general public, CM Pinarayi said.
(The story has been published in an arrangement with The News Minute.)
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