Congress slams BJP for controversial remarks against martyr’s daughter

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New Delhi | Published: February 27, 2017 7:13:39 PM

This is the worst form of state intimidation and this is not how democracies and democratic countries function.

On Rijiju?s remarks, Tewari said, ?This is an example of fascist culture. She is just not anybody. She is the daughter of a Kargil martyr. (PTI)

The Congress today denounced Union minister Kiren Rijiju and a BJP MP for making controversial remarks against a Kargil martyr’s daughter, who started a social media campaign against the ABVP, saying it is a perfect example of fascist mindset. “You may not like what the person thinks but trolling, mindless threats… trolling emanating from people whom the Prime Minister follows. This is the worst form of state intimidation and this is not how democracies and democratic countries function. “It is extremely unfortunate and highly reprehensible. Needs to be condemned in the strongest terms that an alternative point of view, if not liked or accepted, will be met by state intimidation and state-sponsored violence whether it is in the real or virtual world,” Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari told reporters.

He was replying to a query about rape threats issued to Gurmehar Kaur after she condemned the ABVP for violence at Ramjas college. Reacting to BJP Mysuru MP Pratap Simha’s remarks against her, he said, “Such a gentleman certainly does not deserve to be in Parliament. “Someone who has no respect for the families of martyrs… for the pain of a young lady who grew up without a father because her father laid down his life to protect the unity and integrity of the country… Such a gentleman definitely has no right to sit in the highest seat of Indian democracy.”

Tewari said that unfortunately, this is an ethos which has become intrinsic to the BJP because it flows from the top. “When you have the Prime Minister of India referring to the media as ‘bazaaru’, ministers referring journalists as ‘presstitutes’, front organisations of the RSS and BJP perpetrating violence then obviously their MPs also feel that possibly by insulting the family members of Kargil martyrs, they may also find a place in Modi’s Cabinet,” he said.

On Rijiju’s remarks, Tewari said, “This is an example of fascist culture. She is just not anybody. She is the daughter of a Kargil martyr. Her family understands the meaning of sacrifice. If she condemns violence and you treat her like that… it is a perfect example of fascist mindset.” Coming out in defence of Gurmehar Kaur, whose campaign against the ABVP drew controversial reaction from the BJP leaders, the Congress tweeted, “When a woman thinks independently, patriarchal BJP thinks her mind is polluted. When a person ‘bats’ for peace, BJP responds with hate (sic).”

“We admire Gurmehar Kaur’s courage to stand up against bullies & threats and to fight for Rights of her fellow students. Fascists always fall in the mud & remain there when brave Indians like Gurmehar Kaur chose to fight for peace and not give in to hate (sic),” it said. Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi tweeted, “Against the tyranny of fear we stand with our students. For every voice raised in anger, intolerance and ignorance there will be a Gurmehar Kaur (sic).”

Party’s chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala also took to Twitter and said, “Speaking the ‘truth’ is now ‘pollution’. New normal by Modiji’s ministers. No wonder the ABVP now stands for ‘Aao Bhaiya Vidyarthee Peetein’.” “Rape threat to a 20-year old student and Kargil martyr’s daughter is BJP-ABVP brand of ‘nationalism’. Ghastly and horrific (sic),” he tweeted.

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Earlier in the day, Simha tweeted, “At least Dawood did not use the crutches of his father’s name to justify his anti-national stand.” After Kaur’s campaign went viral online with her photograph in which she said, “Pakistan did not kill my father. War killed him”, Simha also posted a photograph showing Dawood with the message, “I didn’t kill people in 1993. Bombs killed them.”

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