Satish Jarkiholi, Who Considered 'Hindu' A Vulgar Word, Is Cabinet Minister In New Karnataka Government

Swarajya StaffSaturday, May 20, 2023 1:32 pm IST
Satish Jarkiholi
Satish Jarkiholi

The new government was finally sworn in, in Karnataka today with Siddaramaiah as the CM and DK Shivakumar as his deputy.

Among eight other leaders who took as Cabinet Ministers, one was Satish Jarkiholi.

Late last year, in November, Jarkiholi was in the centre of a controversy when he said in a public event that 'Hindu' is a 'vulgar' word and does not have its origins in India.

"The word Hindu, where did it originate from? Is it ours? It's Persian, from the region of Iran, Iraq, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan. What is the connection of the word Hindu with India? Then how can you accept it? This should be debated," he had said.

Jarkiholi had cited Wikipedia and Whatsapp as a source for his claim.

"Look at 'Wikipedia', where this word (Hindu) comes from? It is not yours. Then why are you placing it at such a high position? If you understand its meaning, you will be ashamed. The meaning of the word Hindu, is very dirty. I'm not saying this, Swamiji has said this, it's on websites." he added.

Jarkiholi, a close associate of former Chief Minister Siddharamiah, served as a cabinet minister during the Congress government and JD(S)-Congress government headed by H.D. Kumaraswamy in 2018.

He has also claimed credit for playing a pivotal role in the victory of Siddaramaiah in Badami assembly seat in the 2018 elections.

Jarkiholi was fielded by the Congress in the by-election to Belagavi Lok Sabha in 2021 but lost to BJP candidate Mangala Angadi, wife of former Union Minister of State for Railways late Suresh Angadi. Angadi's death necessitated the by-polls.

A sugar baron and businessman, Jarkiholi forayed into politics as a director of Belagavi District Central Cooperative in 1992. Jarkiholi switched his allegiance from the JD (S) to Congress in 2005.

While Satish Jarkiholi is with Congress, his two brothers (Balachandra and Ramesh) are with the BJP. They belong to the Nayaka/Valmiki community under the Scheduled Tribes.

Members of the Jarkiholi family, which belongs to Gokak in Karnataka's Belagavi, are popularly called "sahukars" or businessmen of Gokak among residents.

Their father Laxmanrao Jarkiholi was an excise contractor who expanded his business and owned several petrol pumps in the region.

The family subsequently ventured into the sugar business, tapping the claim to fame of a region known as the "sugar bowl of the state". Now famous as the "sugar barons of Gokak", the family owns five major sugar mills.

When Satish Jarkiholi had made the comment on the word 'Hindu', AICC General Secretary in-charge of Karnataka, Randeep Singh Surjewala had said that "the statement attributed to Satish Jarkiholi is deeply unfortunate and deserves to be rejected. We condemn it unequivocally."

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