Nupur Sharma said her intention was not to hurt anyone’s sentiments. (File)
New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party on Sunday suspended its national spokesperson Nupur Sharma from the party’s primary membership. It also expelled Delhi BJP leader Naveen Kumar Jindal from the party. In a communication to Sharma, BJP’s disciplinary committee said she had taken contrarian line against the party on several matters, in violation of its constitutional tenets. “Pending further inquiry, you are suspended from the party and from your responsibilities, assignments if any, with immediate effect,” BJP said. The party, expelling Jindal, said the leader’s views on social media vitiate communal harmony.
Why were Nupur Sharma, Naveen Kumar Jindal suspended?
Nupur Sharma had made a controversial remark on Prophet Muhammad during a television debate on the vexed Gyanvapi mosque controversy. The remark had triggered outrage. Several protests were organised against the remark. FIRs were also filed against Nupur Sharma. Meanwhile, over 40 people, including policemen were injured in violence in Kanpur over the remark. The police have booked over 1,000 rioters. Jindal had written controversial remarks on Prophet Muhammad on social media, which he deleted after outrage.
What Nupur Sharma, Naveen Jindal said on the controversy?
Nupur Sharma wrote on Twitter that she had been upset with the continuous ‘insult and disrespect’ of Lord Shiva. The claim that the Shivling reportedly found inside the mosque was a fountain, had irked her. “I have been attending TV debates for the past many days where our Mahadev was being insulted and disrespected continuously. It was mockingly being said that it is not Shivling but a fountain. Shivling was being ridiculed by comparing it to roadside signs and poles in Delhi,” Sharma said in a statement on Twitter. She withdrew her controversial remark saying it was not her intention to hurt someone’s religious feelings.
Jindal also echoed Sharma’s sentiments. He said he believes in the philosophy of respecting other religions.
“My intention was not to hurt anyone’s sentiments. We respect all religions. I made another tweet today afternoon in which I have written that one should respect all religions. My question was to those people whose mentality is to constantly talk nonsense about Lord Shri Ram, Goddess Sita, Goddess Janaki, Lord Hanuman and Goddess Saraswati. I asked the people a question. It doesn’t mean that I want to hurt anyone’s sentiments. That’s why I want to say very clearly that one should respect all religions. I do not wish to spread hatred amongst people. No religion propagates hatred,” he was quoted by the news agency ANI as saying.
What BJP said on the Nupur Sharma row?
Without naming anyone, the BJP had said it believes in respecting all religions. General Secretary Arun Singh said the party was against any ideology that demeans other religions. “The Bharatiya Janata Party respects all religions. The BJP strongly denounces insults of any religious personalities of any religion,” he wrote in a statement.
What Qatar and Kuwait said on the controversy and why?
Qatar and Kuwait summoned India’s Ambassadors and handed over to them protest notes. They categorically rejected and condemned the controversial remarks.
Soltan bin Saad Al-Muraikhi, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of the State, handed the note to the Ambassador of India. In its note, the Qatar government said Islamophobic remarks to continue without punishment, constitutes a grave danger to the protection of human rights and may lead to further prejudice and marginalisation. It said for more than two billion Muslim in the world, Prophet Muhammad’s message of peace, understanding and tolerance is a beacon of light.
Meanwhile, the Kuwait Foreign Ministry said that the Indian Ambassador to Kuwait was summoned and handed over an official protest note, expressing Kuwait’s “categorical rejection and condemnation” of the statements against the Prophet.
However, later both the countries welcomed BJP’s remarks and action against the leaders.
“Strong action has already been taken against those who made the derogatory remarks. In line with our civilisational heritage and strong cultural traditions of unity in diversity, Government of India accords the highest respect to all religions,” the Indian Embassy said.
In Qatar, the Indian Embassy said that Ambassador conveyed the tweets by Jindal didn’t reflect the views of the Government if India, and these were the views of fringe elements.
Qatar and Kuwait are two of the most prosperous Muslim countries in the world. They have deep cultural and trade ties with India. The two countries host lakhs of Indian expats who work in all quarters of life there. A large number of Indian Muslims live in Qatar and Kuwait and are influential in some pockets. In the Arab world, a Twitter campaign calling for a boycott of Indian products was also being run over the remarks.
With inputs from PTI, ANI