‘Thekedars’ of dalits creating tensions: PM

New Delhi:Condemning atrocities against dalits, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today accused “self- appointed champions” of the community of giving political colour to the social problem to create tensions even as he asked politicians, including his own partymen, to shun irresponsible statements.

He said he was committed to the welfare of dalits and other oppressed sections of the society but some people were levelling all kinds of allegations against him as they cannot digest that “Modi is pro-dalit”.

The incidents of violence against dalits or anybody else are “condemnable” and it does not behove of a civilised society, he told Network18 in an interview.

“I want to tell politicians, including my own partymen, that there should be no irresponsible statements against any person or community. TV channels may chase you for TRPs but think about the nation.

“Those in public life, even if they are social organisations, should think about the country’s unity, the society’s unity and brotherhood and not create a situation of despondency. They should be extra cautious,” he stressed.

Speaking about pain of the dalits, Modi said, “If we have a small wound, it hurts even if a paper touches it. But for those who have been suffering for centuries, it hurts them a lot even if an incident is small. So there should be no such incident at all.”

Describing it as a “deep-rooted social problem”, he said, “we should remove such an evil” against such communities who have suffered for centuries.

Noting that there are many dalits who are BJP MPs and MLAs in the country, he said, “Ever since I celebrated 125th birth anniversary of B R Ambedkar…many people felt that Modi is Ambedkar’s follower. They started having problems.

“Those who consider themselves as ‘thekedars’ could not digest that Modi is pro-dalit, that I am mad for them. Yes, I devoted to the dalits, the oppressed and the deprived sections, including women… Since I have crossed their (self-appointed champions) path, they are levelling all kinds of allegations against me.”

He said, “Those who fed poison and destroyed the country by doing such politics should stop giving political colour to social problems.” .