Congress MP from Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram, Shashi Tharoor, stirred a hornet’s nest on Tuesday when he said that India will turn into a ‘Hindu Pakistan’ if Bharatiya Janata Party won the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Addressing an event in in his home constituency, Tharoor said that the BJP will write a new Constitution which will pave the way for a nation, much like Pakistan, where rights of minorities are not respected.
“If they (BJP) win a repeat in the Lok Sabha, our democratic constitution as we understand it 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 outspoken Congress MP was quoted by IANS.
Tharoor added, “That new one will be the one which will enshrine principles of Hindu Rashtra, that will remove equality for minorities, that’ll create a Hindu Pakistan and that isn’t what Mahatama Gandhi, Nehru, Sardar Patel, Maulana Azad and great heroes of freedom struggle fought for.”
His statement evoked strong reactions both from his party’s supporters and the cheerleaders of the Hindutva ideology.
On Twitter, known BJP supporter Mohandas Pai said, “Silly statement by a MP who is supposedly an ‘intellectual’ The basic structure of our constitution cannot be changed by any one including Congress as per SC decision. A MP should know better having sworn to protect the constitution! (sic)” Activist Sadhavi Khosla wrote, “Why would you use a word like #HinduPakistan ? It’s absurd to claim that India will turn into a Hindu Pakistan. No not happening! Don’t spread false narrative. Don’t hurt the soul of my India/Hindustan. Don’t hurt the oldest civilization/the most inclusive religion in the world.” Blogger Sanjukta Basu asked, “What’s wrong in saying this? In 1947, Pak became a country based upon religion. Sangh parivar relentlessly wanting to turn India a nation based upon religion, Hindu Rashtra, just like Pak, no?”
Meanwhile, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra asked Congress President Rahul Gandhi to apologise for Tharoor’s comments. “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,” Patra was quoted by ANI.
Many commentators have expressed their fear that the BJP’s re-election in 2019 may pave the way for the rewriting of India’s constitution to suit the agenda of Hindutva forces. Not too long ago, a prominent member of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet, Anant Kumar Hegde, had said that the BJP, was ‘here to change the Constitution.’