By Arré Bench Jul. 21, 2020
Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, and his various views on life have a poor reputation (remember his Mahabharata and Internet connection?). Still, his most recent observation, that Jats and Punjabis were “less brainy” than other Indian communities, is standing out for its sheer tone-deafness.
Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, and his various views on life have such a poor reputation that even Quora users have a hard time taking them seriously.
Still, his most recent observation, that Jats and Punjabis were “less brainy” than other Indian communities, is standing out for its sheer tone-deafness.
The CM made the comment during a recent speech, 50 seconds of which was posted on Twitter by Congressman Randeep Singh Surjewala, who demanded an apology.
शर्मनाक व दुर्भाग्यपूर्ण!
भाजपा के मुख्यमंत्री, त्रिपुरा,बिप्लब देव ने पंजाब के सिख भाइयों व हरियाणा के जाट समाज को अपमानित कर उनका “दिमाग़ कम” बताया
ये भाजपा की औछी मानसिकता है।
खट्टरजी व दुष्यंत चौटाला चुप्प क्यों हैं?
मोदी जी और नड्डाजी कहाँ हैं?
माफ़ी माँगे, कार्यवाही करें pic.twitter.com/whI8QOyKVk
— Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) July 20, 2020
“Haryana’s Jats lack brains but are brawny. They can’t match Bengalis in brains. Bengalis are known all over India for being intelligent,” is heard saying in the clip that soon became a conversation point on Twitter.
Sikhs have lesser brain – Modi’s Chief Minister of Tripura https://t.co/PUwmP7FnNO
— Ashok Swain (@ashoswai) July 20, 2020
My wife is a punjabi and she married me, so double whammy for us according to Tripura BJP Cm! 😮
Come to western UP, we can hold a debate and decide once and for all!!https://t.co/ZYntUeiSNp
— Jayant Chaudhary (@jayantrld) July 20, 2020
If Bengalis are a community of intelligence how do they explain Biplab Deb? https://t.co/Qmytyx5Bok
— Shivam Vij (@DilliDurAst) July 21, 2020
The chief minister later apologised for his speech, even as the International Jat Mahasabha called for his resignation.
Breaking : After facing massive anger from the Jat and Punjabi communities, BJP leader and Tripura CM Biplab Deb apologizes.
International Jat Mahasabha still demanding the resignation of the CM of Tripura.
— Anshuman Sail (@AnshumanSail) July 21, 2020
More keen political observers were quick to point out, however, that this was not the chief minister’s first faux pas.
Welcome back Biplab. We missed you pic.twitter.com/xvKku612cA
— Swati Chaturvedi (@bainjal) July 21, 2020
After he took over as chief minister of Tripura in 2018, Deb gave the world his first unpopular opinion — that beauty pageants were a result of the “international marketing mafia”. His target was 1997 Miss World Diana Hayden, who he thought wasn’t worthy of the title because he didn’t find “traits of Indian beauty” in her.
A few days later, he showcased his range of expertise, by claiming that Internet and satellite communication had existed in the days of Mahabharata, and was used by the mythical king Dhritarashtra to see through his charioteer Sanjaya’s eyes.
— IndiaToday (@IndiaToday) May 1, 2018
His advice to the aspirational youth of his state, later that same month, was even more bizarre. Biplab Kumar Deb was quoted as saying, again in April 2018, that students should avoid chasing government jobs and instead consider opening paan shops or raising cows.
That way, he said, they would have had at least Rs 5 lakh in their bank accounts.
The youth here runs after political parties for several years to get a govt job & wastes the vital time of their life, had the same youth instead of running after parties set up a paan shop he would have by now had a bank balance of Rs 5 lakhs: Tripura CM Biplab Deb pic.twitter.com/dSs4tg4IMp
— ANI (@ANI) April 28, 2018
At this point, anything the chief minister says will have to be taken with a pinch of salt. But with a number of groups now calling for his resignation, chances are he won’t get away with just some light trolling this time.