Digvijaya Singh accuses BJP of spreading religious extremism like Pakistan’s Zia - The Statesman



Digvijaya Singh accuses BJP of spreading religious extremism like Pakistan’s Zia

Digvijaya Singh accuses BJP of spreading religious extremism like Pakistan’s Zia

(Photo: Facebook)

Just days after Congress leader Shashi Tharoor triggered a controversy with his “Hindu Pakistan” remark, another senior Congress leader blamed the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for promoting religious extremism comparing it to Pakistan of the Zia regime.

Party general secretary Digvijaya Singh said that “religious extremism being promoted by ruling government in India” is a dangerous trend which will lead to terrorism. While accusing the BJP, Singh equated “Hindutva” with Zia-ul-Haq’s promotion of religious extremism in Pakistan.

“Extremism leads to terrorism. Religious extremism as promoted by Zia-ul-Haq in Pakistan led to spurt in terrorism there. There is religious extremism being promoted by ruling government in India, the so called Hindutva, this is a similar dangerous trend,” Singh told reporters on Friday.


Singh’s comment came two days after Tharoor said that if BJP comes to power in 2019, they will create a Hindu Pakistan.

“If they [BJP] are able to win a repeat of their current strength in the Lok Sabha then, frankly, our own democratic Constitution, as we understand [it], will not survive… because then they will have all the three elements they need to tear up the Constitution of India and write a new one,” Tharoor said in Thiruvananthapuram.

“And that will enshrine the principle of Hindu Rashtra, that will remove equality for the minorities, and that will create a Hindu Pakistan…and that is not what Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru, Sardar Patel, Maulana Azad and great heroes of freedom struggle fought for,” he added.

The BJP took umbrage to his remark and demanded an apology from Thraoor. BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said, “Shameless @INCIndia doesn’t lose any opportunity to demean India & defame the Hindus! From “Hindu terrorists” to “Hindu-Pakistan” the Pak appeasing policies of Cong are unparalleled!”


As the controversy escalated, Tharoor explained his “Hindu Pakistan” remark on Facebook.

“I have said this before and I will say it again. Pakistan was created as a state with a dominant religion, that discriminates against its minorities and denies them equal rights. India never accepted the logic that had partitioned the country. But the BJP/RSS idea of a Hindu Rashtra is the mirror image of Pakistan – a state with a dominant majority religion that seeks to put its minorities in a subordinate place. That would be a Hindu Pakistan, and it is not what our freedom movement fought for, nor the idea of India enshrined in our Constitution,” he wrote.

Many proud Hindus like myself cherish the inclusive nature of our faith and have no desire to live, as our Pakistani neighbours are forced to, in an intolerant theocratic state. We want to preserve India and not turn our beloved country into a Hindu version of Pakistan,” concluded Tharoor.

Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, the Pakistani military chief who usurped power in a coup in 1977, ruled Pakistan as its President till 1988. During his rule, Pakistan saw some of the worst cases of human rights abuses, especially of minority communities and political opponents.

Zia is accused by Pakistani rationalists of “Islamaisation of Pakistan” with the introduction of Sharia laws and Blasphemy laws, such as Ordinance XX, in the country.