AIADMK minister allegedly had back pain which is why he asked two minor boys, who were tribal residents, to remove his slippers so he could enter a shrine.
Tamil Nadu| Forest Minister Dindigul C Sreenivasan has kicked up a controversy after he was seen having children of a tribal community remove his slippers on Thursday as he prepared to enter a temple in Mudumalai.
Sivapriyan ETB, a special correspondent for the Deccan Herald, shared a video of the incident on Twitter.
#TamilNadu Forest Minister Dindigul C Sreenivasan asks children from the tribal community to remove his slippers so that he can enter a temple in Mudumalai. He was in Mudumalai to inaugurate an elephant rejuvenation camp. | @DeccanHerald pic.twitter.com/3FE11DVL8W
— Sivapriyan E.T.B (@sivaetb) February 6, 2020
The incident occurred outside at the inauguration of the rejuvenation camp for captive elephants in Theppakadu’s Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) located in the Nilgiris.
AIADMK minister allegedly had back pain which is why he made a young, tribal boy bend and unbuckle his (the minister’s) shoes for him so that he could step inside the temple.
In the video, he can be heard calling the boy and asking him to undo his buckle. “Come here… come here…buckle…remove this buckle…” the minister can be heard saying.
The smiling 71-year-old minister who asked the boy, a local Class IX student by the name of Kethanin a friendly manner to take off his slipper.
Videos of the incident went viral on social media with many outraging against the minister’s actions with many accusing him of discriminating against and mistreating the tribal boy. Others pointed out the “arrogance” of the minister who could not even take his own shoe off. Many called for sacking the minister from his position.
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
— Revanth Kumar Ramesh (@Rkreva1) February 6, 2020
Following the criticism, the minister said “It was not my intention to make the boy remove my slippers. But I saw the boy as my grandson and hence called him.”