A coalition of Dalit organisations in Karnataka's Chikkaballapura district issued a statement calling for the resignation of state Health Minister Sudhakar K on Wednesday, March 10. The statement, issued by the Dalit Sanghatanegala Okkoota, Chikkaballapura, was over comments made by Sudhakar denouncing Buddhism and claiming 'Brahmins saved India from the perils of Buddhism'.
The statement by the Dalit Sanghatengala Okkoota, Chikkaballapura said, "In a recent event organized by the Chikkaballapur Taluk Brahmin Association, the Minister K Sudhakar has said "Brahmins protected India from the perils of Buddhism". He also said, "When the world was trapped in Buddhism and many nations were embracing Buddhism, it was Brahmin saint Adi Sharkarachayra who prevented its spreading in India."
The statement said that Sudhakar's words amounted to a violation of Article 15 of the Constitution and asked him to apologise to the Buddhist community. "We urge that the minister should leave caste alone and apologise to the Buddhist community for his statement. We ask for the resignation of the minister and he should not be speaking in other forums about his Brahminism," the statement read.
"Buddha's ideas are a ray of light for millions in this country. For thousands of years, the Sanathana Dharma has not seen Dalits as humans and mistreated them...In such a situation, Buddhism has been a light for us and liberated us," the statement added.
The group also pointed out that Sudhakar, in 2020, had praised Buddhism. "Lord Buddha is the greatest gift that India has given to the world. His was a life devoted to alleviating suffering and removing injustice from society. His compassion has endeared him to millions," Sudhakar had said in a tweet from May 2020.
Earlier, the World Alliance of Buddhists (WAB) had also called for Sudhakar's resignation over his comments. Sudhakar had also drawn flak from Nanjangud BJP MLA Harshavardhan. "Buddhism is a great religion, by virtue of its own. It is for this reason that Baba Saheb Ambedkar studied Buddhism, Muslim, and Christianity, and accepted Buddhism. The Ashoka Chakra in our national flag, the three lions in our national emblem are inspired from Buddhism. It has a long history, and is spread all over the world." MLA Harshavardhan said. He added that if Opposition leaders raise the issue in the Assembly, he would join them in support.