Himanta Biswa Sarma apologises for casteist social media post

The post sparked political controversy, with opposition leaders criticising the BJP's ideology as "Manuvadi and regressive"

Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma (photo: IANS)
Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma (photo: IANS)


Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has apologised for uploading a post containing alleged casteist remarks on his social media platforms, saying his team made an "incorrect translation" of a verse from the Bhagavad Gita.

In a post on X and Facebook on Thursday night, Sarma said he uploads one verse of the Bhagavad Gita every morning on his social media handles, and has posted 668 shlokas till date.

"Recently one of my team members posted a sloka from Chapter 18 verse 44 with an incorrect translation. As soon as I noticed the mistake, I promptly deleted the post... If the deleted post has offended anyone, I sincerely apologise," he said.

The chief minister stressed that Assam reflects a "perfect picture" of a casteless society owing to the reform movement led by Mahapurush Srimanta Sankardeva.

On 26 December, Sarma had uploaded an audio-visual post on his social media handles such as X and Facebook which he claimed was from shloka 44 of the Sanyas Yoga from the 18th chapter of the Gita.

The animated video stated that "farming, cow-rearing and commerce are habitual and natural duties of the Vaishya, while serving the three 'varnas' — Brahman, Kshatriya and Vaishya — is the natural duty of the Shudras". Sharing this video, Sarma even said: "God Sri Krishna himself described the types of natural duties of Vaishya and Shudras."

This sparked a massive political row, with opposition leaders denouncing what they called the "BJP's Manuvadi and regressive ideology". Facing a volley of criticism, Sarma later deleted the post from all his social media platforms. 

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