Jaipur: Defending his controversial remarks that claimed corruption is perpetuated by Dalits and other backward castes, sociologist and political psychologist Ashis Nandy on Saturday said he is being "misquoted". "I agree that corruption is an equalising force in our country. What I meant was that when poor people, SC/ST people do corruption, it is more apparent," Nandy, who made the comments at Jaipur Literature Festival, said.
"If people have misunderstood, I apologise. What I said was that corruption of rich people is often overlooked," Nandy said at a press conference. "I want to close this chapter here now," he added.
Earlier in the day, Nandy had said, "It is a fact that most of the corrupt come from the OBC and the Scheduled Caste sections, and now the Scheduled Tribes." "The maximum amount of corruption these days is by Dalits, the backward and the oppressed classes," he added. The Jaipur Police Commissioner had sought an explanation from the organisers of the festival after Nandy's remarks.
However, Nandy added at the press conference later on Saturday that, "If I get a rich man's son or daughter admitted into a foreign university, it will not been seen or talked as corruption or seeking favour."
Meanwhile, Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati called for a legal action against Nandy and said he intended to create tensions in the communities by making such remarks. "The organisers of Jaipur Literature Festival should throw Nandy out," the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister added.
Nandy's remarks have triggered a row, with other political parties also slamming the sociologist. Congress leader Rashid Alvi said, "I don't know why he has said it. But no one approves such statements."
Bharatiya Janata Party leader Najma Heptullah said, "It is wrong on his part to do so. I don't want to comment about corruption being conducted by the SC, ST or the Dalits. It's very wrong to pass such a comment."
Meanwhile, Dalit writer Chandrabhan Prasad also condemned Nandy's statement asking, "Has there been a survey or a data or any evidence that proves OBC and SC/ST are more corrupt? If there is no such survey or evidence then such statements should not be passed. That means he is misusing his intellectual power, like others have misused their power."
Nandy, however, had earlier stood by his statement. "Let the police take action against me. I stand by what I have said," he had said.
The festival organiser Sanjoy Roy had also sought to defend Nandy, saying his statement had been taken out of context. "He said where there is so much difference between rich and poor, there is corruption. It is his personal statement," he said.