Union minister for skill development Ananth Kumar Hegde on Sunday gave a virtual call to Hindu youths to carry out moral policing, asking them to eliminate the hands of persons who run away with Hindu girls.
The minister was addressing a meeting of Hindu Jagaran Vedike – a youth organisation of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, which was involved in incidents of moral policing in the coastal districts of Karnataka. “If a hand has touched a Hindu girl, then that hand must not exist,” Hegde said.
“We need to change the fundamentals of our thinking process. We must observe the happenings in the society around us in its entirety. We must observe who is running away with whom and which community is involved,” said Hegde, an MP from Uttara Kannada district.
The minister also said that Hindu youths should not become sacrificial lambs, but be dominant like tigers and elephants. “Only weak animals are sacrificed for the gods not strong animals like tigers and elephants,” he told the HJV cadre.
Claiming that the Taj Mahal was not built by Mughal king Shah Jahan, but was a temple called Tejomahalaya, he further said the Qutab Minar was a Jain temple.
Responding to the Union minister’s remarks, Karnataka Congress president Dinesh Gundu Rao questioned Hegde’s achievements as a minister. “It is deplorable that such people have become ministers and get elected as MPs,” Rao said on social media.
Hegde is not new to such controversies. In 2018, at an event of the skill development ministry, Hegde repeated a claim that an Indian flew the first aircraft long before the Wright brothers did in the early 1900s. Hegde said an aircraft created by Shivakar Talpade flew in Mumbai in 1895.
In December 2017, Hegde triggered a furore by saying that those who call themselves secular and intellectual were lacking an identity of their own. “Those who, without knowing their parental blood, call themselves secular, they don’t have an identity. They don’t know their parentage, but they are intellectuals,” the five-time BJP MP said. He also said that the BJP would remove the word secular from the Constitution but later apologised in the Parliament.