Slur against bank staff: MPs demand apology as Gurumurthy justifies comment

Members of Parliament D Ravikumar and K Subbarayan have demanded an unconditional apology from Gurumurthy.
S Gurumurthy
S Gurumurthy
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In a note published in Tughlak, the weekly’s founder and RSS ideologue S Gurumurthy ‘clarified’ the comment he had made on employees of nationalised banks, which caused a huge furore. Gurumurthy had used the term ‘Kazhisadai’ loosely translated to scum or filth to refer to those employees who still worked in public sector banks, sparking outrage.

“At the 52nd anniversary celebrations of Tamil weekly Tughlak, I had spoken about how nationalised banks are becoming weak and accumulating bad debts, while private banks were taking all the talented staff. The intent of my speech has been buried by the controversy which has been sparked by focusing on just one word that I had used to make my point,” Gurumurthy wrote in his clarification note published in Tughlak.

He added that he was “a person who has consistently been talking about how the PSU banks should continue. The work being done by PSU bank employees is holy. My words were not intended to hurt anybody. But only if we understand how government banks work, can these banks actually grow. Otherwise they will continue to weaken. This is the summary of my speech.”

Gurumurthy’s comments made earlier this week were strongly condemned by bank unions, officials, and opposition leaders and the All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) asked for his resignation from the RBI Board.  Gurumurthy made this comment in front of Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

Now MPs D Ravikumar and K Subbarayan have demanded that Gurumurthy tender an unconditional apology for his derogatory remarks against PSU bank staff. In a letter to the Finance Minister, Subbarayan said that “Gurumurthy made those statements in a callous manner and without any restraints, and that he owes an unconditional apology to the workforce of the nationalised banks”.

MP D Ravikumar also tweeted asking whether the Finance Minister will insist that Gurumurthy apologise for his remarks.

Meanwhile, Gurumurthy also responded to CH Venkatachalam, secretary of the All India Bank Employees who condemned his statements, via email. In his mail, Gurumurthy said that he was “pressured to take up the board position in the Reserve Bank of India. “You all think that me being on the RBI Board is a big thing. I was pressured to take up that position as not many were there to put a counter view in the RBI Board,” his letter read.

Venkatachalam, secretary  of the All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) had termed the comment dirty and derogatory. "We strongly condemn his uncalled-for comments and demand his immediate apology. He is unfit to be on the Board of RBI and the government should remove him from this important post," AIBEA Secretary Venkatachalam had said.

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