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2-min read

Does Tarun Vijay Think BJP, RSS Are the Only Indians, Asks Chidambaram

A day after BJP leader Tarun Vijay sparked a row with a racist comment against south Indians, Congress leader P Chidambaram took to Twitter to criticise the former Rajya Sabha MP.

News18.com

Updated:April 8, 2017, 12:39 PM IST
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Does Tarun Vijay Think BJP, RSS Are the Only Indians, Asks Chidambaram
File image of Tarun Vijay. (Image: Getty Images)
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New Delhi: A day after BJP leader Tarun Vijay sparked a row with a racist comment against south Indians, Congress leader P Chidambaram took to Twitter to criticise the former Rajya Sabha MP.

Chidambaram tweeted: "When Tarun Vijay said "we live with blacks", I ask him who is "we"? Was he referring to BJP/RSS members as the only Indians?"

chidambaram

The former finance minister’s reaction was the latest in a series of tweets and comments against Tarun Vijay, whose attempt to defend India over the attacks on African students backfired when he made a racist comment against south Indians.

Vijay, president of the India-Africa Parliamentary Friendship Group, made the remarks while speaking to Al-Jazeera. “To say that Indians can be racist is the most vicious thing because we worship black gods... Krishna is back. And we have been seeing the descendants of the Africans living amicably in states like Maharashtra and Gujarat,” he had said.

Commenting on the recent attack on African students in Greater Noida, he said, “It can’t be a racist attack. There have been many such incidents… for several reasons… like economy… or sometimes even without a reason because of the criminalised behaviour doesn’t need any logic.”

Later, in a series of tweets, the BJP leader said he had been misquoted.

tarun

Vijay had claimed that people with African ancestors have been living amicably in Maharashtra and Gujarat.

He had also said Indians worship black gods and referred to Lord Krishna.

Faced with criticism, he had said his words were perhaps not enough to convey what he wanted to say.

"Feel bad, really feel sorry, my apologies to those who feel I said differently than what I meant. I feel the entire statement was this; we have fought racism and we have people with different colour and culture, and still never had any racism."

He had later claimed that he never called south India as "black".

"I never, never, even in a slip, termed south India as black. I can die but how can I ridicule my own culture, my own people and my own nation? Think before you misinterpret my badly framed sentence," he tweeted in response to accusations of racism.

BJP spokesperson Shaina N C had said that Vijay could have phrased his comments differently.

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge had said the comments showed the saffron party's tendency to discriminate among people of the country.

DMK MP T K S Elangovan said Vijay's comments were funny as not all people in the south India are dark-skinned and cited the example of late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.

His party's spokesperson had said that his comments offered a glimpse of a divide between north India and south India.

(With PTI inputs)

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| Edited by: Puja Menon
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