NEW DELHI: Union Minister V K Singh was today pilloried by opposition parties for his dog remark on Dalit killing in Faridabad with a demand made for his sacking and Narendra Modi's infamous "puppy" analogy in the context of 2002 Gujarat riots also being raked up.
The opposition also demanded that a criminal case be registered against Singh, a former Army Chief, under the Prevention of Atrocities on Schedule Castes Act. BJP, however, stood by Singh, observing that the minister himself has said that his statement was not intended to draw an analogy between the Faridabad incident and stoning of a dog. "We should not blow the whole thing out of proportion," BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said.
Singh was at the centre of a controversy over his comments that the Centre cannot be blamed if somebody throws a stone at a dog to shield it from criticism for the Faridabad Dalit burning incident in which two children were killed.
"It is condemnable, it is shocking, it is inhumane to say the least. General V K Singh has insulted not only the entire Dalit community of this country but all Indians. It reflects the mindset of the Modi government which insults Dalits, which insults the minorities and looks down upon the people who are poor and downtrodden," Congress spokesman Randeep Surjewala said.
Demanding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi sack him and tender an apology on Singh's behalf, Surjewala said a criminal case should be registered against the minister under Prevention of Atrocities on Scheduled Castes Act. Senior Congress leader Manish Tewari described the dog analogy used by Singh as "preposterous and abominable".
"....comparing the death of two little children who were burnt alive to possibly the stoning of a dog...what could be more preposterous and abominable than that. This reflects the mindset of the government.
"To recall the Prime Minister of India made a similar analogy about two years back in an interview(when he was chief minister of Gujarat) when he said that if a pup gets crushed under the wheels of a car that needs to be emphasised too. That remark was in the context of the Gujarat pogrom," he said.
CPI(M) politburo member Brinda Karat described Singh's remarks as "arrogance of casteism" and demanded registration of a criminal case against him. "His statement is a clear casteist statement and it comes under the provisions of the prevention of crime against SC Act. Therefore, this gentleman has to be booked under the Act for casteism and casteist comments.
"Secondly, how can such a man remain in the Central Cabinet. Of course, we all know that Modiji at one time had talked about puppies in relation to a particular community. But at least now that he is Prime Minister, hopefully he will get over his own prejudices and take action against his person," she said.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called Singh's statement as shameful and and that it was prosecutable under SC/ST Act. "A case should be registered against him immediately," he added.
The CPI said Singh's remarks are "visible signs of emergence of cultural fascism" in the country under Narendra Modi regime.