Bengaluru South MP Tejasvi Surya is facing criticism for remarks he made during a pro-CAA rallyon Sunday. He referred to the opposers of the recently passed Citizenship Amendment Act as ‘puncture wallas’ in a demeaning way. He said, “People of Bengaluru’s IT sector, BT sector, those contributing to the nation’s economy like lawyers, bank employees, ordinary citizens including auto-rickshaw drivers have gathered here today. Only the uneducated, illiterate puncture shop wallahs are against it.”
Many pointed out that he referred to poor Dalits and Muslims who are forced into running these shops due to lack of opportunities to pursue other means of earning their livelihood.
He used these deregulatory references as he was addressing a pro-CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) rally in Bengaluru’s Town Hall by calling all those who oppose the law as “illiterates”.He also said all the criticism to the law was due to “products of half-understanding”
“If you split open their chests, you cannot find even four words. These are the people protesting against the CAA,” Tejasvi was quoted by the Deccan Chronicle.
Tejasvi said that “namby-pamby” secularism would not work any more in this country.
Deccan Herald also quoted him as saying, “This is a new India that we are creating. This is an India which will have a $5 trillion economy. The namby-pamby secularism that you people have built so far will not work anymore.”
Reacting to this, Indian Youth Congress leader and Campaigner-in-charge Srivatsa called him a “crass elitist” and asked whether poor people do not have the right to protest or not.
Want to know what privilege sounds like?— Srivatsa (@srivatsayb) December 23, 2019
MP @Tejasvi_Surya, who hails from a rich political family, mocks CAA protestors as ILLITERATES and PUNCTURE WALAS
Are the poor not supposed to protest now?
Such crass elitism is unbecoming of a parliamentarianpic.twitter.com/Ijn3vuYLGB
Many have pointed out depsite the unparliamentary references made by Tejasvi, how his statements go against Prime Minister Narendram Modi’s statements of identifying himself as a “chaiwallah”.
On one hand, PM keeps talking about his humble chaiwala background— Deepak (@Deepak_Ramaiah) December 23, 2019
On the other, his MP @Tejasvi_Surya mocks people saying illiterates & Puncture walas are protesting
Tejasvi, are these people singing national anthem at Town Hall illiterates? Shame on you for such cheap talk pic.twitter.com/NJ3xpObgGm
Dear @Tejasvi_Surya sir,— (@Proton_Doctor) December 23, 2019
My father runs a cycle repairing shop in my village and with his hard earned money, he ensured my education...
Your " puncture wala" comment is in a bad taste...
Don't forget ye desh aak chai bechne wala ko pradhanmantri banaya he n I am proud of it!
Hey @Tejasvi_Surya , whats wrong with PUNCTURE WALAS and illiterates... when so called CHAI WALA can become PM, why cannot PUNCTURE WALAS?? And Illiterates are there becoz there are no schools...you being a government agent,its your failure.— Myths of Opportunity!! (@WhiteKnight___) December 23, 2019
Everyone is not as privileged and have social capital as you do. As an elected representative, u must behave well and be empathetic towards people. Stop being arrogant. Your choice of words - totally unacceptable. @Tejasvi_Surya #CAA_NRC_Protests https://t.co/IwhhU3rxgO— Shruthi H M । ಶ್ರುತಿ ಎಚ್ ಎಮ್ (@shruthihm1) December 22, 2019
Tejasvi Surya is just a privileged Amul Baby.— Advaid (@Advaidism) December 23, 2019
The PM always brags about his humble chaiwala background and his MP's mock protesting citizens as illiterates & Puncture walas.
23 crores Indians go to bed on an empty stomach daily. Imagine if they all rise up??
Other notable speakers who spoke at the event were Chakravarthy Sulibele of Yuva Brigade member of the BJP.
He went on to say that BR Ambedkar, one of the prime architects of the Constitution had suggested that Muslims to leave India and settle in Pakistan following the partition.