Prophet remark row: BJP’s bigotry damaged India’s global standing, says Rahul Gandhi
Gulf countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and the UAE, as well as Iran have condemned the remarks.
Rahul Gandhi (Photo by Atul Loke/Getty Images)
“Divided internally, India becomes weak externally. BJP‘s shameful bigotry has not only isolated us, but also damaged India’s standing globally,” Gandhi wrote on Twitter.
His remarks came in the wake of international outrage over controversial remarks made by two BJP functionaries against Prophet Mohammad, after which they were suspended and expelled by the party.
Meanwhile, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan brushed aside as “not important” a public apology demanded by Qatar over the controversial remarks, saying that people should pay attention to the Prime Minister and the RSS chief’s calls for strengthening India’s tradition of inclusiveness.
Khan, speaking to reporters in the national capital, said there were countries who spoke against India for several years on Kashmir and even on other matters.
“People are entitled to their opinions. How does it matter? That (demand for apology) is not important. India cannot bother about such small reactions,” the Governor said in response to a query seeking his views on Qatar seeking a public apology from India.
Khan said what India had to be careful about was protecting its own traditions.
“Our tradition is not tolerance, but respect and acceptance for all traditions. We respect and we accept all traditions as true. India’s culture does not consider anybody as others,” the Governor told reporters.
“…We should pay more attention to what the Prime Minister is repeatedly saying and what the RSS chief is repeatedly saying — that we want our tradition of inclusiveness to be strengthened. Nobody is to be excluded. That is our cultural heritage. We need to strengthen that,” he said.
He also said that what the expelled BJP leaders — Nupur Sharma and Naveen Kumar Jindal — said was probably “in the heat of the moment in front of TV”.
“These things are not really important,” he added.