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‘Control of state power by Hindus absolutely essential’: BJP MP Tejasvi Surya wades into controversy again

B T Venkatesh, a former public prosecutor of Karnataka High Court, said, "India is a secular country and each representative is duty-bound to uphold unity and integrity among the citizenry on the whole, not just 'Hindu dharma' as mentioned by the MP."

Written by Ralph Alex Arakal | Bengaluru | August 5, 2020 9:31:18 pm
Tejasvi Surya, Tejasvi Surya Ayodhya, Tejasvi Surya BJP, Ram mandir, Ram temple, Ram mandir Ayodhya, Ayodhya ram mandir, indian express BJP MP from Bangalore South Tejavi Surya (Source: Tejasvi Surya/Twitter)

BJP MP from Bangalore South Tejasvi Surya on Wednesday triggered a fresh controversy after he tweeted that the “control of state power by Hindus is absolutely essential for sustenance of Dharma”. His tweet came even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi performed the bhoomi pujan of the Ram temple in Ayodhya.

“Dear Hindus, Most important lesson is that control of State power by Hindus is absolutely essential for sustenance of Dharma. When we didn’t control State, we lost our temple. When we regained, we rebuilt. The 282 in 2014 & 303 in 2019 to Sri @narendramodi made today possible!” the 29-year-old posted on Twitter.

Reacting on Surya’s comment, B T Venkatesh, a former public prosecutor of Karnataka High Court, told indianexpress.com that such a statement is not welcome from an MP who represents a part of a by and large educated city. “This (Surya’s statement) is totally against the spirit of the Constitution. It is contrary to the ethos, values, and fundamental duties specified in the Constitution of India, let alone the oath he has taken as a Member of the Parliament,” he said.

Venkatesh added, “India is a secular country and each representative is duty-bound to uphold unity and integrity among the citizenry on the whole, not just ‘Hindu dharma’ as mentioned by the MP.”

Meanwhile, Leo Saldanha, a Bengaluru-based lawyer and activist, criticised the MP for trying to “bring down” the sacredness of the Constitution. “The Constitution of India was not created for anyone’s personal interpretation. As an elected representative, Surya’s job is to promote constitutional values and not his personal agenda which seems to be anti-constitutional,” he said.

Saldanha further called on President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu to suspend the MP. “@rashtrapatibhvn @VPSecretaria Please note that @Tejasvi_Surya with this tweet has broken his oath to protect the idea of India as per the oath he took on the sacred Indian Constitution. As per the oath you took to protect India’s Constitution you must suspend this man as MP,” he tweeted.

Several civil society organisations also joined the bandwagon demanding action against the MP for his remark. “Are you an MP for all people in your constituency or just for Hindus? Why don’t you resign and become a VHP leader? @loksabhaspeaker you must issue a notice to this MP who has forgotten the Constitution,” Naavu Bharathiyaru, a citizen forum demanded.

At the same time, Shivajinagar MLA Rizwan Arshad alleged that Surya’s tweet would spread hate and unrest. “Dear Tejasvi, what role did the Modi Govt play in Babri verdict? I thought it was the Supreme Court ruling unless you are suggesting that Modi influenced the CJI in exchange for an RS seat? Your brand of politics will never do good for anybody except spreading hate & unrest,” the Congress MLA tweeted.

Hours later, Surya, also a qualified lawyer made, another tweet defining the ‘Dharmic nationalism’ he observed at Ayodhya on Wednesday. “Along with Jai Sri Ram, the purohits also chanted Bharat Mata Ki Jai – that is Dharmic nationalism. If Dharma survives, India survives,” he tweeted.

This is not the first time Surya has attracted controversy for his remarks. Surya’s remarks at a pro-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) rally in December 2019, where he referred to people opposing the new law and the proposed NRC as “illiterates and puncture-wallahs”, had drawn widespread criticism.

Similarly, soon after the BJP lost Jayanagar bypolls to Congress in June 2018, Surya had said that the BJP should “really become a Hindu party and not just be perceived as one”.

Sharing ward-wise results of the bypolls on Twitter, he had written, “Call me a bigot, communal fanatic or whatever. But singular reason for BJP’s defeat in Jayanagar is the complete consolidation of Muslim vote. BJP should unapologetically be a party for Hindus. Must take concrete legislative measures to alleviate Hindu issues, not just make speeches…Congress is the party of Muslims: every Hindu must be convinced of this truth.”

Mosques should give way to mandirs: K S Eshwarappa

A few hours after the ground-breaking ceremony for the Ram temple in Ayodhya, Karnataka Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj K S Eshwarappa stated that the next focus would be on “liberating” Kashi and Mathura.

Speaking at an event in Shivamogga district, where special prayers were held to mark the ‘bhoomi pujan’ in Ayodhya, he said, “A mark of slavery has been erased. Two more remain at Kashi and Mathura, where the mosques should give way to mandirs.”

A former Karnataka BJP president, Eshwarappa added that the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya is the first step towards “ending slavery culture and restoring Hindu culture in the birthplace of Lord Rama.”

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