Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram on Saturday strongly condemned the statement of Kerala SC?ST Welfare Minister AK Balan for insulting first Tribal woman Padma Shri Award winner Lakshmikutty Amma and sought a public apology to her and the nation. He was addressing a press conference at his residence in Delhi.
The minister’s office took note of a report on the issue published in the indusscrolls.com. “Padma Shri to a tribal medical practitioner is a great honour to the tribals. In fact, he should have welcomed it. On the other hand, the minister chose to insult a woman who had made great contribution to the tribal medical system. Tribals have great knowledge of Ayurveda and herbal medicine. He should issue a public apology to Smt Lakshmikutty Amma and the nation,” said Oram.
Oram said the Marxist minister has “no business to question the Padma awards selection procedures”. “Not only state government but even individuals can recommend names for the awards but the selection committee has the power and discretion to select an individual. Balan has no business to question that,” said the tribal minister.
Later, talking to indusscrolls.com, Oram said he couldn’t figure out how a minister handling the portfolio of Tribal Welfare can make such a statement. By doing this he has insulted the whole tribal community.