Hegde criticised intellectuals and writers, stating that they were a group of people who call themselves intellectuals only to seek government benefits.

 Ananthkumar Hegde faces Cong ire Revanna asks him to go to mental asylum
news Controversy Thursday, January 18, 2018 - 09:17

Minister of State for Skill Development Anantkumar Hegde’s criticism of intellectuals and writers was met with criticism from Congress leaders on Wednesday. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah called Hegde “the most irresponsible person”. “Even talking about him is a waste of time,” he added speaking to The New Indian Express.

Transport Minister HM Revanna meanwhile suggested that Hegde should be sent to a mental asylum. “What has happened to his tongue? I am a bus minister. In my language, he should be put on Route Number 4,” he said. When he was asked to explain what he meant, Revanna replied “Mental asylum”. Mental health activists have warned politicians from using such labels are abuse.

All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary in-charge of Karnataka KC Venugopal and Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) working president Dinesh Gundu Rao also condemned Hegde’s remarks.

Anantkumar Hegde, speaking at the Skill India Skillathon event in Belagavi had criticised intellectuals and writers, stating that they were a group of people who call themselves intellectuals only to seek government benefits.

“When asked what should we aspire for, they say we should all become human beings. What do they mean? Do they presume we are animals? We were born as human beings and we should aspire to be in the realm of Gods. But they seem to think that we are not human beings. They seem to have some problem with their vision and in the recent times, that problem seems to be increasing,” he said as per The Hindu.

“The so-called intellectuals brand themselves as intellectuals as they want the government to allot them sites. That is all. We are supposed to believe that whatever they write is literature and whatever they scribble is poetry. It is meaningless and has neither a beginning nor an end,” he added.

Hegde, who has been part of the contingent of leaders leading the BJP’s state-wide Parivartana Yatra, is no stranger to controversy. He was forced to apologise in the Lok Sabha in December for his comments on secularism. He had earlier said that “a new tradition was in vogue", where people projected themselves as secular. He said he would welcome it if someone “claims with pride that he is a Muslim, or a Christian, or a Lingayat, or a Brahmin, or a Hindu but not someone who calls himself secular.”

In an earlier speech in the Parivartana Yatra in Kundapur, the BJP leader had sarcastically suggested that the Congress government will soon start celebrating terrorists like Ajmal Kasab and Osama Bin Laden. “Today, they will celebrate Tipu Jayanti, then Hyder Ali, then Afzal Guru, Ajmal Kasab and Bin Laden,” he had said on November 13. 

In 2016, Hegde had reportedly told mediapersons that there will be terrorism in the world as long as Islam exists. “Until we eradicate Islam from the world we will not be able to eliminate terrorism from the world. Islam is a bomb placed to disrupt world peace. As long as there is Islam there will be no peace in the world,” he was quoted as saying.