Renowned sociologist Ashis Nandy's comments on corruption among Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes kicked up a major controversy at the Jaipur Literature Festival.
However Mr Nandy clarified that his statements were misunderstood and apologised for the hurt caused. This is his full statement:
This is not what I meant or what I wanted to say. This is what I actually transpired.
I endorsed the statement of Tarun Tejpal, Editor of Tehelka
, that corruption in India is an equalising force. I do believe that a zero corruption society in India will be a despotic society.
I also said that if people like me or Richard Sorabjee want to be corrupt, I shall possibly send his son to Harvard giving him a fellowship and he can send my daughter to Oxford. No one will think it to be corruption. Indeed, it will look like supporting talent.
But when Dalits, tribals and the OBCs are corrupt, it looks very corrupt indeed.
However, this second corruption equalizes. It gives them access to their entitlements. And so, as long as this equation persists, I have hope for the Republic.
I hope this will be the end of the matter. I am sorry if some have misunderstood me. Though there was no reason to do so. As should be clear from this statement, there was neither any intention nor any attempt to hurt any community. If anyone is genuinely hurt, even if through misunderstanding, I am sorry about that, too.Ashis Nandy