India's international reputation in tatters due to BJP, PM Modi; top leaders’ silence astonishing: Congress

Over the last 8 years, India’s intellectuals, opposition, retired bureaucrats etc have been reminding PM Narendra Modi of his ‘Rajdharma’ but he ignored them, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said

Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera (File photo)
Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera (File photo)
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NH Web Desk

The Congress on Wednesday said that the entire world’s perception of India as a tolerant nation in which multiple cultures, religions and languages co-existed peacefully has changed overnight due to PM Narendra Modi and his party, the BJP.

Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said that it was ironic for the BJP to label its two now-suspended spokespersons, who made obnoxious comments about Prophet Mohammed that have angered Muslims the world over, as ‘fringe elements’, pointing out that PM Modi himself is known to use similar words and tactics during election campaigns.

“How can the Prime Minister even afford to use these words? He has been through the same journey himself. I am pained when I use these words for him, but we have not forgotten his own speeches, whether it was September, 2002 in Khairlanji; 2017 in Uttar Pradesh, when he said “Shamshan- Kabristan”; 2019 December, when he said – ‘we can recognize these people by their clothes’. We have not forgotten those speeches,” Khera said.

“You not only come through the same journey, you still resort to the same language, the same tactics, the same stunts when you go for elections. Because the international community did not point out at the ‘Goli Maro’ comment of one of your leaders, today that leader is an important Minister in your cabinet,” he added.

Over the last 8 years, India’s intellectuals, opposition, retired bureaucrats etc have been reminding PM Narendra Modi of his ‘Rajdharma’ but he ignored them, Khera said.

Khera said that it was unprecedented for Indian embassies to distribute a political party’s press releases, and slammed Modi govt for it.

“The entire world has watched how we have done away with our constitutional responsibilities, with our institutions. Can you imagine, our embassies are distributing press releases by a political party – BJP. It has never happened before. Why should the embassies be distributing BJP’s press releases? What are friends of BJP, so-called friends of BJP doing abroad, apart from raising funds for the BJP? What are the various named, unnamed, non-State players abroad, which are protected by the umbrella of RSS, they should be doing this, not the embassies. Why is the Embassy becoming a mouthpiece of BJP, we want to know?” he said.

“Enough of shaming our country, Mr Prime Minister, please make sure that all these snakes that you have nurtured are called back in their holes. That’s where they belong to, because now is the time when the snakes are out to bite you. It is in your good that you speak up,” Khera said.


Here is the text of the media byte:

Friends, over the last weeks, we have had to face as a country a lot of shame. The entire world has a particular image of the country, of India. It’s a beautiful image, an image of our country which is proud of the kind of disparate contradictions which it can take along with it. It has multiple cultures, religions, languages living in it peacefully, learning from each other. We have been very proud of this and the world has been very surprised at the way, India despite its contradictions, has managed it so well. Today all that has changed, thanks to one man, one party, which is Narendra Modi and the BJP.

You haven’t heard the Prime Minister speak a word, you haven’t heard the Home Minister utter a word, you have definitely not heard Mr. Jaishankar speak on this issue of hate speech within the country and three of them, mind you, are very-very fond of speaking; in fact, the External Affairs Minister, the one clip which went viral of his speech, had words borrowed from Nehru Ji in it. Why doesn’t he speak today? He can borrow from Nehru Ji, we don’t mind, Nehru Ji belongs to all of us, borrow from him, but for God's sake, open your mouth.

Over the last 8 years, the intellectuals of this country, the opposition of this country, retired bureaucrats, diplomats have been reminding the Prime Minister of his ‘Rajdharma’, have been requesting him to understand how this country, as large as India, is governed. It cannot be governed with a small heart and a small mind, but the Prime Minister not just chose to be silent or to ignore this advice, he chose to use his echo system, his parrot media to discredit these voices, to demonize these voices, to silence these voices, by labeling them as ‘Khan Market Gang’, ‘Tukde-Tukde Gang’, ‘Award Wapasi Gang’, ‘anti-nationals’. This is the way, they tried to silence all of us, well-meaning Indians, who were worried about India, who were concerned about India, who were pained about India.

You were able to silence some of us, not all, but, today, when the world is speaking, we see a worried government. We see a worried Prime Minister and the Prime Minister who chooses to immediately act when the world speaks, but silences the same voices within the country.

And what kind of action was this - they suspend two official spokespersons of their party and label them as ‘fringe’. How can the Prime Minister even afford to use these words? He has been through the same journey himself. I am pained, when I use these words for him, but we have not forgotten his own speeches, whether it was September, 2002 in Khairlanji; 2017 in Uttar Pradesh, when he said “Shamshan- Kabristan”; 2019 December, when he said – ‘we can recognize these people by their clothes’. We have not forgotten those speeches.

You not only come through the same journey, you still resort to the same language, the same tactics, the same stunts, when you go for elections, because the international community did not point out at the Goli Maro’ comment of one of your leaders, today that leader is an important Minister in your cabinet.

Because the global community reacted to what Nupur Sharma and Naveen Jindal said, you chose to act against them, what is the message you are sending to the world and to your country? You will silence the voices of sanity within your country, and immediately act when foreign countries ask you to act. Because yesterday’s fringe is today’s mainstream, we have every reason to believe that today’s fringe will be tomorrow’s mainstream, so choose your words carefully.

The entire world has watched how we have done away with our constitutional responsibilities, with our institutions. Can you imagine, our embassies are distributing press releases by a political party – BJP. It has never happened before. Why should the embassies be distributing BJP’s press releases? What are friends of BJP, so-called friends of BJP doing abroad, apart from raising funds for the BJP? What are the various named, unnamed, non-State players abroad, which are protected by the umbrella of RSS, they should be doing this, not the embassies. Why is the Embassy becoming a mouthpiece of BJP, we want to know?

Enough of shaming our country, Mr Prime Minister, please make sure that all these snakes that you have nurtured are called back in their holes. That’s where they belong to, because now is the time when the snakes are out to bite you. It is in your good that you speak up.

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Published: 08 Jun 2022, 7:41 PM