A fresh row erupted on Wednesday between the Congress and the BJP-led government after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi made remarks at an event in San Francisco on Muslims in India and on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Rahul, who is on a ten-day visit to the United states, said what was happening to the Muslims in India, happened to the Dalits in the 1980s and that other minorities were also feeling the same. Incidentally, his visit to the US comes three weeks before the PM’s visit as a guest of US President Joe Biden.
“It is being felt by the Muslims most directly because it is done most directly to them. But in fact, it is done to all communities. The way you (Muslims) are feeling attacked, I can guarantee Sikhs, Christians, Dalits, and tribals are feeling the same. You can’t cut hatred with hatred, but only with love and affection,” the Congress leader said responding to a question concerning the Muslims in India from the ‘Bay Area Muslim community’ at a ‘Mohabbat Ki Dukaan’ event in San Francisco.
Rahul also stated that some people were “absolutely convinced” that they knew everything and could explain history to historians, science to scientists and warfare to the army.
“The world is too big and complicated for any person to know everything. That is the disease…There is a group of people in India who are absolutely convinced they know everything. They think they know even more than God. They can sit with God and explain to him what’s going on. And of course, our prime minister is one such specimen. If you sat Modiji with God, he will explain to God how the universe works and God will get confused about what I have created,” the Congress leader said.
The comments drew sharp reaction from the ruling dispensation with Union Information & Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur accusing Rahul of insulting India during his visits abroad.
”During his foreign visits, Rahul Gandhi insults India, which is unacceptable. He wants to insult PM Modi but ends up insulting India, questioning India’s progress. He is trying to tarnish India at a time when the world is acknowledging our growing stature,” he said.
Thakur noted that the PM met almost 24 PMs and presidents from different countries and held over 50 meetings during his recent foreign visit. Several world leaders were saying that Modi was the most popular leader. The Australian PM said ‘PM Modi is the Boss’ but Rahul could not digest this, he added.
The Union minister also targeted Rahul over his remarks that what was happening to the Muslims in India today, happened to Dalits in the 1980s. He recalled that Congress was in power in Uttar Pradesh as well as the Centre for the most part of the eighties.
“The period that Rahul Gandhi is talking about…In the 1980s, Dalits and SC families were oppressed when Congress was in power in the country and also in Uttar Pradesh. Perhaps he wanted to go out and tell that the Dalits and the minorities were oppressed under Congress rule and ‘Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas’ is taking place under the BJP,” Thakur said.