The BJP on Thursday reacted sharply to Congress leader Shashi Tharoor’s remark that India will become a “Hindu Pakistan” if the saffron party wins elections in 2019, saying the MP had insulted India’s democracy and Hindus. The party wanted party president Rahul Gandhi to apologise for the remark.
The Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram, who made the remarks on Wednesday, said in a Facebook post on Thursday that a state with a dominant majority religion that seeks to put its minorities in a subordinate place would be a Hindu Pakistan.
“It is an abuse and highly objectionable statement to compare the world’s sixth largest economy with Pakistan. It is an insult to our democracy and Hindus,” BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said at a press conference.
The Congress distanced itself from Tharoor’s remarks and asked its leaders to be cautious in choosing words while targeting the BJP.
Patra said the Congress doesn’t lose any opportunity to demean India and defame Hindus. “From Hindu terrorists to Hindu Pakistan, the Pakistan-appeasing policies of Congress are unparalleled,” Patra said. He said the Congress president should break his silence and demanded his apology for the remark by his party leader.
Tharoor, meanwhile, said Pakistan was created as a state with a dominant religion that discriminates against its minorities and denies them equal rights and noted that India never accepted the logic that partitioned the country.
“But the BJP/RSS idea of a Hindu Rashtra is the mirror image of Pakistan — a state with a dominant majority religion that seeks to put its minorities in a subordinate place. That would be a Hindu Pakistan, and it is not what our freedom movement fought for, nor the idea of India enshrined in our Constitution,” he said in his Facebook post.
He said many proud Hindus like him cherish the inclusive nature of the Hindu faith and have no desire to live in an intolerant theocratic state. “We want to preserve India and not turn our beloved country into a Hindu version of Pakistan,” he said.
Congress communication department head Randeep Surjewala tweeted, “Modi Govt thrives upon an unprecedented atmosphere of division, bigotry, hatred, intolerance & polarisation for last 4 years. Congress, on the other hand, represents India’s civilisational values of pluralism, diversity, compassion & harmony between faiths & ethnicities.”
“India’s values & fundamentals are an unequivocal guarantee of our civilisational role & set us apart from the divisive idea of Pakistan. All Congress leaders must realise this historic responsibility bestowed upon us while choosing words & phraseology to reject BJP’s hatred,” he said.
Sitaram Yechury says he first used phrase
Kolkata: CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury on Thursday said he was the first to use the phrase “Hindu Pakistan”, and did not condemn Tharoor’s remark using the phrase. “I was first to use the term ‘Hindu Pakistan’. I had used the term in reference to warn PM Narendra Modi not to turn the country into another Pakistan,” he said.