Karnataka: Congress Working President Satish Jarkiholi Terms 'Hindu' As A Vulgar Word, Party High Command Condemns Statement
Senior Congress leader and working president of the party's Karnataka unit Satish Jarkiholi has stirred yet another controversy by claiming that 'Hindu' is a 'vulgar' word and does not have its origins in India.
"The word Hindu, where did it originate from? Is it ours? It's Persian, from the region of Iran, Iraq, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan. What is the connection of the word Hindu with India? Then how can you accept it? This should be debated," he said.
Jarkiholi, a sitting legislator from Yamakanmardi assembly constituency in Belgaum district, was speaking at Nippani during an event organised by "Manav Bandhutva Vedike'' on Sunday.
Jarkiholi cited Wikipedia and Whatsapp as a source for his claim.
"Look at 'Wikipedia', where this word (Hindu) comes from? It is not yours. Then why are you placing it at such a high position? If you understand its meaning, you will be ashamed. The meaning of the word Hindu, is very dirty. I'm not saying this, Swamiji has said this, it's on websites." he added.
In an attempt at quick damage control, AICC General Secretary in-charge of Karnataka, Randeep Singh Surjewala said that "the statement attributed to Satish Jarkiholi is deeply unfortunate and deserves to be rejected. We condemn it unequivocally."
"Hinduism is a way of life and a civilisational reality. Congress built our nation to respect every religion, belief and faith. This is the essence of India," he said in a tweet.
Jarkiholi, a close associate of former Chief Minister Siddharamiah, served as a cabinet minister during the Congress government and JD(S)-Congress government headed by H.D. Kumaraswamy. He also has claimed credit for playing a pivotal role in the victory of Siddharamiah in Badami assembly seat in the 2018 elections. The former CM defeated BJP leader and former Deputy CM Sriramulu in a closely contested election.
Jarkiholi was fielded by the Congress in the byelection to Belagavi Lok Sabha in 2021 but lost to BJP candidate Mangala Angadi, wife of former Union Minister of State for Railways late Suresh Angadi. Angadi's death necessitated the by-polls.
A sugar baron and businessman, Jarkiholi forayed into politics as a director of Belagavi District Central Cooperative in 1992. Jarkiholiswitched his allegiance from the J.D. (S) to Congress in 2005. He has won two Council and three Assembly polls. He was elevated a few years back as secretary of the All-India Congress Committee last year.
While Satish Jarkiholi is with Congress, his two brothers (Balachandra and Ramesh) are with the BJP and are members of the state assembly. A family of five brothers maintains a complete stranglehold over 3 to 4 assembly constituencies in the district. They belong to the Nayaka/Valmiki community under the Scheduled Tribes.
Members of the Jarkiholi family, which belongs to Gokak in Karnataka's Belagavi, are popularly called "sahukars" or businessmen of Gokak among residents. Their father Laxmanrao Jarkiholi was an excise contractor who expanded his business and owned several petrol pumps in the region.
The family subsequently ventured into the sugar business, tapping the claim to fame of a region known as the "sugar bowl of the state". Now famous as the "sugar barons of Gokak", the family owns five major sugar mills.
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