Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Saturday reacted to former BJP MP Tarun Vijay’s remarks on racism asking him if only BJP or RSS members were Indians according to him. Taking to Twitter, Chidambaram wrote, “When Tarun Vijay said “we live with blacks”, I ask him who is “we”? Was he referring to BJP/RSS members as the only Indians?” Vijay had earlier said while referring to South Indians, that our country could not be racist since “we live with dark people.”
“If we were racist, why would we have the entire south, which is complete, you know, Tamil, you know Kerala, you know Karnataka and Andhra, why do we live with them? We have black people around us,” Vijay had said in a news programme on Al Jazeera. The BJP leader later apologised after he faced huge flak for his remarks. He also tried to clarify his stand in a series of tweets. “In many parts of the nation we have different people, in colour and never ever we had any discrimination against them,” he posted. “My words perhaps were not enough to convey this. Feel bad, really feel sorry, my apologies to those who feel I said different than what I meant,” he wrote.
BJP spokesperson Shaina N C said the former editor of RSS-affiliated weekly Panchajanya could have phrased his comments differently.
Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, who hails from Karnataka, also condemned Vijay’s remarks saying it was a party tendency to discriminate among people of the country.
Citing the example of late Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa, DMK MP T K S Elangovan said Vijay’s comments were funny as not all people in the south India are dark-skinned. DMK spokesperson added that the comments offered a glimpse of a divide between north India and south India.