Bengaluru: Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) Working President Satish Jarkiholi, in a letter to Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, withdrew and apologised for his statement on the meaning of the term “Hindu”.
He also asked to constitute an investigating committee to find those who tried to defame him as anti-Hindu. Earlier on Monday, Jarkiholi sparked a controversy by saying that the word “Hindu” is Persian and did not originate in India.
He had said that the meaning of the word Hindu is “horrible” and asked why people place it on a high pedestal. “Where has the word “Hindu” come from? It has come from Persia…So, what is its relation with India? How’s ‘Hindu’ yours? Check on WhatsApp, and Wikipedia, the term isn’t yours. Why do you want to put it on a pedestal?… Its meaning is horrible,” the Karnataka Congress working president had said at a programme in Belagavi.
Soon after Jarkiholi’s statement went viral on social media, senior BJP leaders slammed him for the statement and allegedly insulting and provoking Hindus. “It has become a habit of Congress and AAP leaders to demean Hindus and insult Hindu Gods and Goddesses. Only during elections, do they remember Gods and Goddesses, while the rest of the time, they keep abusing them,” BJP Union Minister Anurag Thakur said.
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said that the remark was unfortunate. “They (Congress leaders) make statements with half knowledge to appease voters of one community and dream to get minority votes. This is anti-national and everyone should condemn it. Are Rahul Gandhi and Siddaramaiah’s silence endorsing Satish’s statements?,” BJP CM Bommai said while speaking to reporters on Tuesday.
BJP spokesman Shehzad Poonawalla also said that the remark insulted and provoked Hindus. “This is not a Sanyog but a Votebank ka Udyog, from Hindu terror to opposing Ram Mandir to linking Gita and Jihad,” he said in a tweet.
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Congress leaders continued to maintain distance from Jarkiholi’s statement on Tuesday. Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) chief DK Shivakumar said that the party supports all religions and does not agree with Jarkiholi’s statement.
“Satish Jarkiholi’s statement is his personal opinion and not the Congress party’s opinion, we will ask for his explanation on the same,” Shivakumar said while speaking to ANI.