NEW DELHI: A controversial comment on Hindu gods by Samajwadi Party MP Naresh Agrawal in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday caused two adjournments with deputy chairman P J Kurien expunging the “defamatory” remarks which triggered an uproar in the House. Kurien also condemned Agrawal’s remarks.
Agrawal made the blasphemous comment during a short duration debate on ‘rising incidents of lynching and atrocities on minorities and Dalits across the country’.
Kurien later met members from the ruling and opposition parties in his chamber, following which Agrawal expressed regret for his comments.
Members from the Treasury benches said Agrawal has hurt the religious sentiments of the majority community and this also amounted to “lynching”. The ruling party members insisted on an apology from Agrawal who withdrew his comments after Kurien said his comments were defamatory. The BJP members raised slogans saying “Hindu devi-devtaon ka apman nahi chalega’ (Insult to Hindu gods/goddesses cannot be accepted).
Following Kurien’s meeting with the members in his chamber, Agrawal said, “If someone has been hurt, I express my regret.” The SP leader insisted that he did not intend to hurt the sentiments of anyone.
After Agrawal’s apology, Kurien asked the print and electronic media to guard against using the expunged remarks.
Strongly objecting to Agrawal’s blasphemous comments, Leader of the House Arun Jaitley said, “He (Agrawal) has linked each of the Hindu gods to a brand of alcohol. If he had said this outside (the House), he would have been liable for prosecution.” Jaitley further said, “You have not realised the gravity of what you have said. Do you have the audacity to speak in similar language about other gods of other religions?”
Kurien earlier said, “I have gone through the records. It is per se derogatory and hurting the sentiments of the majority community...I have expunged these remarks... He (Agrawal) should not have made the remarks...”