The spot light was once again on Gulab Chand Kataria, Udaipur MLA and senior BJP leader for a loose statement during the inauguration of Pannadhay statue in Udaipur. This statement has caused uproar in the Valmiki community and Bari community in the region.
Annoyed protestors gathered in a huge numbers outside Collectorate on Wednesday, 31 August. They demonstrated and chanted slogans against Kataria and later handed over a memorandum to the District Collector, Tarachand Meena in the name of the BJP National President, Governor of Rajasthan and the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Rajasthan, Dr. CP Joshi.
Senior member of the Valmiki Community Association, Babu Lal Ghavri said that MLA Gulab Chand Kataria and Girdhari Lal Soni insulted the Valmiki community while addressing the audience during the unveiling ceremony of Pannadhay statue. He said that unwarranted and insulting words were used with the name of Keerat, a member of the army of Maharana Udai Singh.
On Thursday, 1 September 2022, members of the Bari community of the region, with whom Keerat is associated, also gave a letter to the Union Defence Minster Rajnath Singh. The Demand Letter explained about the above mentioned incident during the unveiling ceremony on Tuesday. The letter mentioned that the sentiments of the Bari community were hurt by associating Keerat’s name with an un-Parliamentary address to a specific caste.
The letter detailed that the Bari community, to which Keerat belonged, used to make food for the rulers of Mewar and they were famous for making leaf plates (pattal, dona). In the present day also, the community is involved in making leaf plates. Their plates are used at many places including the Srinath temple in Nathdwara. The leaf plates are placed on big silver plate and the food is also put on Lord Shrinath’s sculpture. Even in Lord Jagannath temple (Jagdish temple), Shrinath temple, Jagat Shriramni temple on the City Palace road, Madan Mohan temple at Ghanerao Ghati in Udaipur, the leaf plates are used. History states that Maharana Udai Singh’s murder was plotted by Banveera and during that time Udai Singh’s mother Pannadhay gave the responsibility to Keerat Bari to protect Udai Singh. They were successful in shifting Maharana Udai Singh from Chittorgarh to safety at Kumbalgarh.
Demand raised by Bari community
The demand letter from the Bari community signed by the President of Bari Community Sawarlal Bari and other members mentions that un-Parliamentary mention has humiliated both the Bari Community as well as the Valmiki Community. The letter demanded the suspension of Gulab Chand Kataria as leader of opposition in the legislative assembly.
The memorandum given on 31 August by Valmiki community also stated that Kataria be suspended from his position in the party, in the same manner that Nupur Sharma was suspended after her remarks on Prophet Mohammad. The memorandum also asked for an apology by Kataria.
Kataria has been in the news in the last few months for his loose statements that have caused unrest in the Rajput community, when he made remarks on Maharana Pratap.