New Delhi: A day after veteran Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said that India will become a ‘Hindu Pakistan’ if Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power in 2019, his party on Thursday advised him to exercise caution in “choosing words” to counter the ruling party.
Addressing an event in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday, Tharoor had said that BJP will write a new Constitution which will pave the way for a nation, much like Pakistan.
“If BJP wins a repeat in the Lok Sabha, our democratic Constitution as we understand will not survive as they will have all the elements they need to tear apart the Constitution of India and write a new one,” the former union minister said.
He stated that there was a great danger that the new Constitution created by BJP would enshrine the principles of ‘Hindu Rashtra’ (Hindu nation) and remove equality for minorities.
“That will create a Hindu Pakistan and that is not what Mahatama Gandhi, Nehru, Sardar Patel, Maulana Azad and great heroes of freedom struggle fought for. BJP already has more than 20 states under its belt, so a Rajya Sabha majority looks near. Now, if they could muster what they managed during the last Lok Sabha polls, India is done for,” Tharoor said.
Reacting to that, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala on Thursday asked Tharoor to exercise restraint.
“The Narendra Modi government has been thriving upon an unprecedented atmosphere of division, bigotry, hatred, intolerance and polarisation for last four years. The grand old party Congress, on the other hand, represents India’s civilisational values of pluralism, diversity, compassion and harmony between faiths and ethnicities. I urge Congress leaders to keep this in mind while rejecting BJP’s hatred,” Surjewala said in a series of tweets.
Criticising Tharoor’s statement, BJP demanded Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s apology.
“Rahul Gandhi must apologise for what Shashi Tharoor said. Congress was responsible for the creation of Pakistan because of its ambitions. Yet again it has gone ahead to demean India and defame Hindus of India,” BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said.
Tharoor, however, defended his statement in a Facebook post.
“Why should I apologise when BJP enshrines the ideals of a ‘Hindu Rashtra.’ It is clear that BJP has stood for a ‘Hindu Rashtra’, it is a part of the official ideology of the party. The PM has asked the party to read about the thoughts and ideas of Deen Dayal Upadhyay, who did not believe in the Constitution. These leaders believe the Constitution and nation should be built for Hindu people. The PM has never said he disagrees with this,” he commented.
Elaborating on his statement of Wednesday, Tharoor posted that BJP’s idea of a ‘Hindu Rashtra’ was the mirror image of Pakistan.
“I have said this before and I will say it again. Pakistan was created as a state with a dominant religion, which discriminates against its minorities and denies them equal rights. India never accepted the logic that had partitioned the country. But the BJP 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,” he wrote.