Karnataka Congress leader Satish Jarkiholi who has come under fire from various quarters, including his own party, for calling “Hindu” a “dirty” word, said that there was nothing wrong in what he has said. He also served as forest minister in the previous Janata Dal Secular-Congress government.
The leader, in a video statement, said, "I am carrying out my work by exceeding the boundaries of Hindu, Persian, Islam, Jain and Buddhism. We should grow above caste and religion. Nothing wrong in what I said in this backdrop," he stated.
Jarkiholi also clarified that he had not insulted any religion or language. "It is true that I mentioned that the word "Hindu" has Persian origin. I have demanded complete discussion on it," he said.
He said that there were "thousands of records to show the word Hindu has different meanings."
"There are hundreds of records about how this Persian word (Hindu) came. This has been mentioned in Swamy Dayanand Saraswati's book 'Satyarth Prakash', Dr GS Patil's book 'Basava Bharatha', and Bal Gangadhar Tilak's 'Kesari' newspaper as well. These are just 3-4 examples, there are many such articles available on Wikipedia or any website, you should please read it," he said in the video statement.
He also said he would step down as MLA if proved wrong. "Let everyone prove I am wrong. If I am wrong, I will resign as MLA, not just apologise for my statement."
Satish Jarkiholi on Sunday had said that the word "Hindu" is a Persian word that means "horrible" and asked why people place it on a high pedestal.
"Where has the word 'Hindu' come from? It has come from Persia...So, what is its relation with India? How's 'Hindu' yours? Check on WhatsApp, and Wikipedia, the term isn't yours. Why do you want to put it on a pedestal?... Its meaning is horrible," the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President said at an event. "A religion and a word from somewhere else is being forcefully imposed on us, there should be a debate on this," he further added. The MLA from Yamakanmardi was speaking at Nippani in the district during an event organised by "Manav Bandhutva Vedike'' on Sunday.
"Thousands of similar speeches are given every day. Only my statement is highlighted," he said in his statement following the speech while adding that his statement was being discussed in a way the Ukraine and Russia war is being talked about.
"It is incorrect to sensationalise things when it comes to matters regarding Hinduism," he said.
"When Hindus get killed, they get special attention. But at the same time if Dalits get killed, it gets ignored. One should listen to the speech of late former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Hindu religion. Hindu religion is described as a way of life. The Supreme Court has also stated the same," the MLA maintained.
#WATCH| "Where has 'Hindu' term come from?It's come from Persia...So, what is its relation with India? How's 'Hindu' yours? Check on WhatsApp, Wikipedia, term isn't yours. Why do you want to put it on a pedestal?...Its meaning is horrible:KPCC Working Pres Satish Jarkiholi (6.11) pic.twitter.com/7AMaXEKyD9— ANI (@ANI) November 7, 2022
He also said that if the media still continued the debate over the issue, he would file a defamation case. I only sought debate over the word 'Persian'. I have not insulted any religion or language and it was not mine, I have quoted Wikipedia," he said.
Meanwhile, Congress leader Randeep Surjewala on Monday said that Jarkiholi's statement is "unfortunate" and Congress "unequivocally condemns it".
Karnataka Congress president DK Shivakumar on Tuesday said, "Satish Jarkiholi's statement is his personal opinion and not the Congress party's opinion, we will ask for his explanation on the same."
(With inputs from ANI & IANS)