Congress leader Thiruvanchoor makes casteist jibe on Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan (left) and Congress leader Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan (right). The image of toddy tapper with the ankle belt (thalapp) marked (centre).

Senior Congress leader Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan stirred a row by making a casteist slur on Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in a Facebook post.

It was the headline of a Facebook post in Malayalam from the former Home Minister of Kerala that contained the casteist remark.

He wrote: "Thalappitta Kalil Cheruppidalle..', where 'thalapp' is an ankle belt made of rope traditionally used by toddy tappers to climb coconut trees.

The implication is the job of a toddy tapper that was performed by Pinarayi Vijayan's late father, Koran.

Casteist jibes on Pinarayi's father have been made by various political rivals in the past, including the incumbent KPCC (Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee) President K Sudhakaran and recently by members of the Indian Union Muslim League during a political rally.

A screenshot of Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan's Facebook post.

Nonetheless, Pinarayi Vijayan had belittled casteist attacks aimed at him by stating on multiple occasions that he was proud of his father's profession.

The context of Thiruvanchoor's lengthy post was a recent episode involving a controversial remark from K Sudhakaran aimed at Pinarayi and the latter's response to it.

Sudhakaran had apologised and claimed his usage 'changala potticha patti' (the dog that has broken free off its chains) was merely a colloquial reference to one's busy nature.

However, Pinarayi refused to buy the clarification and said that there was nothing colloquial about the words used by Sudhakaran.

"The present chief minister has thrown the most political challenges and used personal insults in his speeches," said Thiruvanchoor.

"He called the respectable Thamarassery Bishop 'nikrishtajeevi' (wretched creature), used the word 'paranari (roughly translates as a despicable person) for the honourable Kollam MP NK Premachandran. Even after the death of TP Chandrasekharan, did you not call him 'kulamkuthi' (turncoat)? You haven't withdrawn any of these words," Thiruvanchoor sid, adding that those terms also cannot be justified as colloquial.

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