Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde is in the news again for his controversial remark about saffron terrorism. Speaking on the last day of the Congress Chintan Shivir (ironically meant to be a brain-storming session) in Jaipur, Shinde said, '“Training camps of both the BJP and the RSS are promoting Hindu terrorism. Whether it’s Samjhauta blast or Mecca Masjid blast or Malegaon blast, they plant bombs and blame it on the minorities.' He was forced to tone down the charge following criticism from the opposition party.”
When the BJP condemned his statement, he offered clarification but only shot himself further in the foot by saying, “It is saffron terrorism that I have talked about. It is the same thing and nothing new. It has come in the media several times.”
Shinde has since been slammed from all quarters for his comment, but he found an unusual ally in Parliament attack convict Hafiz Saeed who said the remark was like 'help from Allah'. Terrorist group the Jammat-ud-Dawa also expressed its appreciation via a tweet, saying 'We appreciate Media, rightly judging the enormity of Indian ministers confessional statement".
Predictably, the BJP reacted strongly to Shinde’s comment, labeling it malicious and demanding an apology. "The home minister should apologize to BJP and the RSS and also to the country for making irresponsible, unwarranted and malicious allegation which I condemn outrightly," said BJP spokesperson, Ravi Shankar Prasad.
This is not the first time Shinde has opened his big mouth with disastrous results. During an event last year, Shinde’s remarks on the Coalgate scam had become a talking point. He had said, "Earlier, Bofors was the talking point, but people forgot about it. Now it is coal. This too will be forgotten. Once coal is washed off your hands, they become clean again," he said with a laugh.
Sushil Kumar Shinde
Shinde, born to a humble Maharashtrian family in Solapur, was the first dalit Chief Minister of Maharashtra between 2003 and 2004. He also served as the Power minister from 2006-2012. He is currently the Minister of Home Affair and the Leader of the house in Lok Sabha. The last year has been particularly rocky for the former bailiff of Solapur session court, what with the Northern India power grid failure, the Assam violence that affected many parts of the country and the brutal gangrape of Delhi ’s 23-year-old medical student. His statements haven’t helped right any of those wrongs and he’s increasingly been finding himself as the party’s laughing stock.
Twitterati went for Shinde’s jugular following his remark. Here are some interesting tweets:
Pallavi Ghosh (@pallavighcnnibn)
Digvijaya singh's school of thought endorsed by shinde ..all on a day when rahul took over ..hmm interesting ..
My name is Sushil Kumar Shinde ji & I'm not a terrorist.
Prameet Dharamshi (@PrameetD)
It appears shinde & diggi r experiencing mental problems, as if that's anything new.
Ramesh Srivats (@rameshsrivats)
Really, really irresponsible remark by Sushil Kumar Shinde, no? SuKS.
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