As India faces a chorus of diplomatic outrage from Gulf countries following derogatory references to Islam and the Prophet by two now-expelled BJP spokespersons, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday hit out at the ruling party, alleging that its bigotry not only isolated India, but also damaged the country’s position globally.
Taking to Twitter, he wrote: “Divided internally, India becomes weak externally. BJP’s shameful bigotry has not only isolated us, but also damaged India’s standing globally.”
Divided internally, India becomes weak externally.
BJP’s shameful bigotry has not only isolated us, but also damaged India’s standing globally.
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— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) June 6, 2022
While Qatar, Kuwait and Iran summoned India’s ambassadors to their countries, calls emerged on social media across several nations for a boycott of Indian products.
On Sunday, the BJP suspended its national spokesperson Nupur Sharma and its Delhi media head Naveen Kumar Jindal over their comments while the party issued a statement asserting that it “respects all religions” and “strongly denounces insults of any religious personality”.
Reacting to this, former Finance Minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram pointed out that it was not domestic criticism but international backlash that had pushed the BJP to take action against the two functionaries. “Domestic criticism did not impel the BJP to act against the two spokespersons. It was only the international backlash that pushed the BJP to take action,” he said.
He also remarked that the Sharma and Jindal were not the original creators of Islamophobia. “Mrs Nupur Sharma and Mr Naveen Kumar were not the original creators of the Islamophobia. Remember, they were trying to be more loyal than the king,” Chidambaram tweeted.