The Opposition led by Congress disrupted Parliament proceedings today and forced its adjournment thrice over the alleged racial remarks by BJP leader Tarun Vijay. Accusing the government of trying to divide the country, the Opposition demanded an FIR to be lodged against Tarun Vijay.
The leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge said Tarun Vijay's remarks were a "threat" to the unity of the country. He alleged that BJP and its government wanted to divide the country. He said Vijay's remarks shows BJP's mentality and went on to compare it with the likes of Hitler. He said if such things went on, states would start asserting for independence and added that it showed
Home Minister Rajnath Singh sought to clarify the matter by saying that the individual had already apologised and that the country is secular. However, it failed to soothe the ruffled feathers of the Opposition.
As the Opposition persists in their demand to initiate action against Tarun Vijay, these are the reasons why their action is exaggerated.
1. NOT A MINISTER
Tarun Vijay is not a minister in the Narendra Modi government. Hence, his views cannot be attributed to the BJP-led NDA government. Had he been a minister, the Opposition could have been justified to some extent of levelling the allegation because the ministry functions on the principles of collective responsibility.
2. NOT AN MP
Tarun Vijay is not a member of either house of Parliament. He was a member of the Rajya Sabha and term had ended in July 2016. Hence, his comments do not carry the same weight if they had been made if he had been an MP.
3. NOT A BJP OFFICE-BEARER
Tarun Vijay is not even an office-bearer of the ruling BJP. He is not even an official spokesperson of the ruling party. Hence, his remarks cannot be taken so seriously as to be considered either the government or the party's official stand over the issue.
Tarun Vijay has already apologised for the alleged racist statement he had made at the panel discussion on whether attack on Africans in the national capital amounted to the country being racist and xenophobic. He has even said that his remarks were indefensible. This leaves no scope for any doubts about the former MP's intentions.
5. GOVERNMENT'S CLARIFICATION
The government and the BJP too have distanced themselves from Tarun Vijay's remarks calling them personal. Home Minister Rajnath Singh went on record to say that India is a secular country and there would be no discrimination based on caste, creed, colour and religion.
Hence, the Opposition, including Congress, seems to be exaggerating the importance of Tarun Vijay by persisting with their protests against the controversial remarks. By trying to derive political mileage from the controversy, the Opposition is also wasting Parliament's time and public money.