New Delhi: Taking a jibe at Bollywood actor Aamir Khan Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday argued in the parliament that despite being insulted and ostracized Dr B R Ambedkar never thought of leaving India despite facing criticism for his political views.
“Even as he faced insults, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar never thought about leaving India. He kept on presenting an objective point of view for a unified India,” Rajnath said, forcing the opposition Congress to object to the remarks.
Rajnath, who alluded to the ongoing debate on intolerance while making his statement on the 125th birth anniversary of Dr B R Ambedkar, clarified that he did not want to stir another row on the occasion.
At an awards ceremony on Sunday, Khan had said that his wife Kiran Rao said she feared for her the safety of their children and had suggested leaving India, a remark that triggered a huge controversy.
In his speech in Parliament, Rajnath also raked up the controversial addition of the words ‘socialist’ and ‘secular’ in India’s preamble to the Constitution.
“Our founding fathers believed that the preamble is the soul of the Constitution and no changes should be made to that. The two words – secular and socialist – were inserted later. I am not saying I don’t agree with those words. What happened is past now,” he said.
The two words were added to the preamble of the Constitution through the 42nd amendment by the Congress-led Indira Gandhi government in the 1970s. “Why was the secular word added?” Rajnath asked.
As Congress Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge got up to object to Rajnath’s remarks, he said, “Dr Ambedkar wanted to insert those words in the preamble, but he was not allowed to do that by the leaders of his time.” Kharge said Ambedkar belonged to this land, “unlike the Aryans who are outsiders”.
Rajnath went on to say that ‘secular’ is the most abused word in contemporary political discourse. “If there’s is any word which is being misused in Indian politics, that is ‘secular’,” he said, prompting another protest by the opposition leaders.