Kolkata: A Kolkata court on Saturday summoned senior Congress leader and Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor on Saturday over his ‘Hindu-Pakistan’ remark. Advocate Sumeet Chowdhury had filed the case alleging Tharoor’s comments had hurt religious sentiments and insulted the Constitution. The Congress leader has been asked to appear in the court on August 14.
While addressing a lecture on ‘Threats faced by Indian democracy and secularism’ in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday, Tharoor had said, “If the BJP goes on to mark a repeat of their current strength in the Lok Sabha in 2019, then it will pave the way for the tearing up of the Indian constitution and result in the creation of a ‘Hindu Pakistan’.”
Following this, several BJP leaders slammed Tharoor saying the MP had insulted India’s democracy and Hindus and demanded Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s apology in the matter.
Reacting to his remarks, BJP said it is an abuse and highly objectionable statement. “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,” said party spokesperson Sambit Patra. “From Hindu terrorists to Hindu Pakistan, the Pakistan-appeasing policies of Congress are unparalleled,” Patra added.
Calling Tharoor’s statement a “hallucination”, Union Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said it was the Congress which had infringed upon the Constitution and freedom of the citizens.
On the other hand, distancing itself from Tharoor’s controversial remark, the Congress urged its leaders to choose their words carefully while rejecting the hatred being propagated by the saffron party.
Senior party leader P L Punia said, “Shashi Tharoor should explain why he made the remarks but one thing is certain, that the BJP-RSS always believed that there should be some changes to the Constitution. The Constitution, as it is now, is not acceptable to them.”
Despite all the hullabaloo over his remarks, Tharoor refused to retract and defended himself in a Facebook post, saying the BJP-RSS idea of a Hindu Rashtra remained the mirror image of the neighbouring “intolerant theocratic state”. “Pakistan was created as a state with a dominant religion that discriminates against its minorities and denies them equal rights. India never accepted the logic that had 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,” Tharoor wrote on Facebook.
Meanwhile, the Kerala Congress Chief has backed Tharoor for his remark. State Congress chief M M Hassan said the party backed Tharoor’s statement. “What he has stated is the sentiments of secular Congress workers,” he said.
“What Tharoor has raised is a serious matter, which is very relevant. If Modi comes to power again, BJP would attempt to re-write the Constitution. Tharoor has cautioned about this threat and there is nothing wrong in his statement,” said Leader of Opposition in Kerala Assembly Ramesh Chennithala.