Union Minister Hansraj Ahir on Tuesday shockingly termed the views expressed by BJP MP, Varun Gandhi, on Rohingya Muslims as anti-national.
Ahir told reporters, “Jo desh ke hith mein sochenga woh is tarah ke bayan nahi dega (Anyone who have national interest in mind, won’t make such statements).”
Writing for Hindi daily, Navbharat Times, the young MP from Sultanpur in Uttar Pradesh had argued that India must give asylum to Rohingyas but before that analysis of genuine security concerns should be done. Varun had also shared the article on Twitter to his more than half a million followers.
After Ahir’s comments, Varun told Janta Ka Reporter, “My recent piece focused primarily on defining India’s asylum policy, with clear demarcations on how we would accept refugees. As for the Rohingyas, I’ve called for empathy, leading potentially to asylum, while vetting each applicant for national security concerns.”
This is not the first time Varun has expressed sympathy to people in suffering. In the past, he has written in favour of farmers highlighting their plight and even opposed the move to hike the pay for parliamentarians. Varun regularly writes for leading English, Hindi and Urdu newspapers, where his columns have become increasingly popular among his readers.
Moved by the Gorakhpur tragedy, he had recently pledged Rs 5 crore from his MP development fund to build a state-of-the-art paediatric wing in Sultanpur district hospital.
On Rehith Vemula’s suicide, Varun had confessed that the research scholar’s letter had left him in tears asking ‘what are we teaching our kids.?’
However, his views on Rohingyas are in contradiction to the official view of his party, which is determined to deport all 40,000 Rohingyas back to Myanmar. The Centre’s Narendra Modi government recently told the Supreme Court that the refugees were a threat to India. Even though the government has not furnished any evidence to substantiate its claims.
The BJP, in its national executive yesterday, adopted a resolution supporting the government’s stand on the Rohingya issue, saying it fulfilled its responsibilities by providing humanitarian relief to Bangladesh for Rohingya refugees while ensuring that internal security was not compromised for its 125 crore citizens.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh last week had said Rohingyas were not refugees who have applied for asylum in India but illegal immigrants who “will be deported”.
Meanwhile, Varun has earned plenty of plaudits for his views on Rohingyas. Here are some comments from social media platforms;
— SANJAY HEGDE (@sanjayuvacha) September 26, 2017
— Swati Chaturvedi (@bainjal) September 26, 2017