Tharoor slams BJP over bigotry amid Arab countries boycotting Indian products

Those who express bigotry at home should be aware of the consequences abroad. India has enjoyed a proud standing in the world

New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Sunday hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the controversial remarks against religious minorities in the country, following which calls were made on Twitter for boycotting Indian products.

Taking to Twitter, Tharoor tagged a post which said that supermarkets in Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain removed Indian products after insulting remarks were made by ruling party leaders.

“Object lesson: Those who express bigotry at home should be aware of the consequences abroad. India has enjoyed a proud standing in the world, which is being undermined by the irresponsibility of the communal-minded who have been allowed free rein for too long by the ruling party,” he tweeted.

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The BJP on Sunday suspended its spokesperson Nupur Sharma from the party’s primary membership and expelled its Delhi media head Naveen Kumar Jindal after their alleged controversial remarks on minorities.

While Sharma’s comments during a TV debate aimed at the founder of Islam have drawn the ire of Muslim groups, Jindal also posted objectionable tweets, deleted later, and has been accused of often posting inciting comments.

Their comments also sparked a Twitter trend calling for boycotting Indian products in some countries.

Expelling Jindal, a communication from its Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta said, “Your primary membership is immediately terminated and you are expelled from the party.”

Further, a communication to Sharma from the party’s disciplinary committee said she has expressed views contrary to the party’s position on various matters, which is in clear violation of its constitution.

Member secretary of BJP’s central disciplinary committee, Om Pathak in a letter to Sharma said, “You have expressed views contrary to the Party’s position on various matters, which is in clear violation of Rule 10 (a) of the constitution of the BJP.

I have been directed to convey to you that pending further inquiry, you are suspended from the party and from your responsibilities/assignments if any, with immediate effect.”
Earlier in the day, BJP said in a statement issued by its general secretary Arun Singh, “The BJP strongly denounces insult of any religious personalities of any religion. The Bharatiya Janata Party is also against any ideology which insults or demeans any section or religion. The BJP does not promote such people or philosophy.”

BJP stated that it “respects all religions” and is “strongly against any ideology which insults or demeans any sect or religion”.

“During the thousands of years of the history of India, every religion has blossomed and flourished. The Bharatiya Janata Party respects all religions,” the brief statement said.

“India’s constitution gives the right to every citizen to practise any religion of his/her choice and to honour and respect every religion. As India celebrates the 75th year of its independence, we are committed to making India a great country where all are equal and everyone lives with dignity, where all are committed to India’s unity and integrity, and where all enjoy the fruits of growth and development,” it said.

However, the official statement by the BJP made no direct mention of any incident or comment made by Sharma during the debate.

The Mumbai police registered an FIR against Sharma based on a complaint by Irfan Shaikh, joint secretary of the Mumbai wing of Raza Academy.

It stated that Sharma, in a news debate on the Gyanvapi issue, allegedly made controversial comments about Prophet Muhammad. Moreover, Jindal allegedly tweeted against the interests of the country.

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