MUMBAI: A senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Mumbai Gopal Shetty has embarrassed the party by targetting Christians and calling them ‘angrez’. Shetty claimed that it was only the Hindus and the Muslims who played a role in India’s freedom struggle and not the Christians.
“Christians were British, hence they didn’t participate in the freedom movement. India was not freed by Hindus or Muslims, we fought as one, as Hindustanis for our independence,” Shetty can be heard as saying in the video.
Shetty made the remark while addressing a gathering during the Eid-E-Milad organised by the Shia Kabrastan Committee at Malvani in Malad in Mumbai on Sunday.
Hitting out at the BJP MP, Mumbai Congress claimed that the BJP had no idea about the history. “It’s clear BJP MP is not aware of history, or is purposely trying to create discord among members of one community with such communally sensitive utterances,” the Mumbai Congress tweeted on Wednesday.
Telangana Congress also hit out at the BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamwewak Sangh over the statement of the MP.
“It was not Christians or Muslims who did not take part in Indian Freedom Struggle. Official written orders were passed by the heads of RSS & Hindu Mahasabha asking their cadre not to participate in Indian Freedom Struggle & this is “BJP” History !!,” Telangana Congress tweeted.
However, Shetty later in his defence said that his words have been wrongly interpreted. “This is a result of sheer miscommunication and wrong interpretation of what I had said. For me, India and every Indian comes first. The BJP is moving ahead with sabka saath, sabka vikas and I personally believe that main sabka, sab mere. During my speech there may have been a situation wherein something could have been said unintentionally, but the fact remains that it was the contribution of people from every religion that led to India attaining independence,” he said in a clarification to Mumbai Mirror.