A day after pointing out that India would become a “Hindu Pakistan” if the BJP comes to power after 2019 general elections, leading to furore, the senior Congress leader has remained defiant and refused to apologise for his statement. Instead, he has challenged the saffron party to say on record that it does not believe in the idea of a Hindu Rashtra, which would end the debate. “If BJP does not believe in Hindu Rashtra concept then they should say it on record that we do not believe in a Hindu Rashtra but in a secular republic. This would end the debate,” he was quoted to have said by ANI.
Refusing to apologise for his comments, the former Union minister added, “I don’t see what exactly I need to apologise for BJP’s point of view. I am repeating what is on record from BJP and RSS. If they are no longer interested in the idea of Hindu Rashtra they must admit. Until they do so, how can one apologise for reflecting their point accurately.”
The Congress leader had come in for severe criticism from the BJP over the remark. Addressing a press conference in the national capital, party spokesperson Sambit Patra said the Congress was damaging the Constitution and said Tharoor’s remarks were an attack on Hindus in the country. hE also had demanded an apology from Congress president Rahul Gandhi over Tharoor’s remarks. “Rahul Gandhi must apologise for what Shashi Tharoor said. Congress was responsible for creation of Pakistan because of its ambitions. Yet again, it has gone ahead to demean India and defame Hindus of India,” he was quoted as saying by ANI.
Tharoor’s remark came while he was delivering a speech on ‘Threats faced by Indian democracy and secularism’ in Thiruvananthapuram. Tharoor had said that three factors stood in the way of the BJP to follow on what their heroes like Veer Savarkar had dreamt of in regard to a new Constitution.
“So far, what they have been preventing them is three things — two-thirds majority in the Lok Sabha, two-thirds in the Rajya Sabha and half of the states. As you know, they have two-thirds in Lok Sabha and they have more than half the states. They have 20 states and coalitions in two others. The only thing they don’t have is a majority in the Rajya Sabha but because they have so many state governments and because state assemblies elect the Rajya Sabha, you can be sure in 4-5 years, they will have a majority in Rajya Sabha as well,” he was quoted as saying by Indian Express.
He went on to say, “So the great danger then is that if they are able to win a repeat of their current strength in the Lok Sabha, then frankly our democratic constitution as we understand will not survive because they will have all the three elements they need to tear up the Constitution of India and write a new one. That will be a new one which will enshrine the principle of Hindu Rashtra, will remove equality for minorities, that will create a Hindu Pakistan. That’s not what Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel and the great heroes of our freedom struggle fought for.”