'Polarising, bigoted': Indian groups in Europe call for BJP MP Tejasvi Surya's removal as speaker at Hamburg event

FP Staff
·3-min read

Several organisations of Indians overseas, including in Europe, have called for the removal of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Tejasvi Surya from the panel of speakers at a start-up conference organised by the Indian consulate in Germany's Hamburg.

As per TwoCircles.net, the groups, in a letter to the consulate, said a polarising figure like Surya "should not find a safe haven" in Europe.

According to HuffPost, India Solidarity Germany, The Humanism Project, Solidarity Belgium, Indians Against CAA, NRC and NPR €" Finland, Bharath Democracy Watch, Indian Alliance Paris, and Foundation The London Story were among the signatories of the letter dated 2 October.

The letter read, "Tejaswi Surya clearly has a divisive agenda against the communities that are not "Hindu". This agenda is in contravention of the European ethos of equality, diversity, and inclusivity."

The letter asked the consulate to instead invite speakers of "diverse backgrounds and experiences" and remain true to the European values of inclusiveness, diversity, and human rights for all. It also cites the conventions of the European Union and United Nations such an invitation would go against.

The BJP MP is among 10 speakers lined up for the startup conference, which aims to bolster economic relations between India and Hamburg, reported TheWire.

The signatories also expressed concern that Surya was invited to an event that appears to be inclusive for Indians of all faiths. They also dubbed Surya's views as "polarising, abhorrent and dehumanising" and questioned the consulate's choice in inviting him as a speaker, as per HuffPost.

"[Tejasvi] Surya's highly controversial and communal views are publicly available. Does the consulate also endorse his following views where he openly plays communal-politics and calls for the government to favour a particular religion?"

The BJP MP's controversial and communal tweets along with the remarks made by him during the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act in Bengaluru were also cited in the letter. "Does the consulate also endorse his following views where he openly plays communal-politics and calls for the government to favor a particular religion?" the letter asked.

The letter also pointed out that Surya believes that anyone opposed to the policies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is "anti-India". "One wonders what then is democracy if the voices of Opposition and dissent are stifled," the letter stated. "Such statements bring shame to the largest democracy on a global level."

The letter asked the consulate to instead invite speakers of "diverse backgrounds and experiences" and remain true to the European values of inclusiveness, diversity, and human rights for all. It also cites the conventions of the European Union and United Nations such an invitation would go against.

The signatories further went on to call Surya a "bigoted person", and said giving him an official platform to speak in Germany would jeopardise the secular and democratic ethos of Europe.

Another old derogatory tweet on Arab women, which had resurfaced on social media in April, was also highlighted by the groups.

The tweet by the Bangalore South Lok Sabha MP, dated 23 March, 2015, read, "95% of Arab women have never had an orgasm in the last few hundred years! Every mother has produced kids as an act of sex and not love.

Surya deleted the tweet after facing flak.

Surya, recently appointed the BJP Yuva Morcha chief, recently drew fire for refusing to apologise for his "Bengaluru terror epicentre" comment which was slammed by the Opposition.

The MP, who represents Bengaluru South in Lok Sabha, claimed that Bengaluru has become "an epicentre of terror activities" and said he has requested Union home minister Amit Shah to set up a permanent division of the National Investigation Agency in the city.

With inputs from PTI

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