Sitharaman causes embarrassment on Lakhimpur killings

Kashmir Times. Dated: 10/14/2021 8:21:44 PM

KT NEWS SERVICE
NEW DELHI, Oct 13: Most embarrassing for the Modi government and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party was a remark by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the United States that the killing of the farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri of Uttar Pradesh was "absolutely condemnable."

Her remark came as a surprise in the BJP circles here since no minister or any BJP leader has spoken a word against the killing of four farmers and one journalist by the speeding vehicles on October 3.

Sitharaman either did not know how the killings are being dealt at home or she treated the foreign audiences to be ignorant and not well informed when she was asked about it by the staff and students of Harvard Kennedy School in Boston.

On an official to the United States, she was asked on Tuesday during a conversation in the Harvart Kennedy School why there is no word from the prime minister or any senior minister and rather "defensive reaction" comes when somebody asks questions about such things.

"No, absolutely not... It's nice of you to have picked up that one incident which is absolutely condemnable, every one of us say that. Equally there are instances happening elsewhere, is my concern," she replied.

She went on to elaborate that there are issues of such nature happening in other parts of India equally which should be raised "when they happen and not when it suits others" because there is a BJP government in Uttar Pradesh.

RAJNATH'S BLOOMER: Meanwhile, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh's claim on Tuesday that the RSS icon Veer Savarkar was made to file a mercy petition to the colonial masters by Mahatma Gandhi became a butt of joke on the social media, with questions pouring on how Gandhi could have advised Savarkar so in 1911 since Gandhi had returned to India only in 1915. Those in the BJP, however, sought to endorse Rajnath Singh's claim of Gandhi asking Savarkar to file a mercy petition for his release.

Singh was speaking at the launch of a book — Veer Savarkar: The Man Who Could Have Prevented Partition — by Uday Mahurkar and Chirayu Pandit at the Ambedkar International Centre here, where RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat also spoke.

In the debate on the issue, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel too joined, asking how Gandhi could have communicated with a jailed Savarkar. “Where was Mahatma Gandhi and where was Savarkar at that time? Savarkar was in jail. How could they’ve communicated,” he said.

Baghel also claimed that Savarkar was the first one to speak of the two-nation theory after he came out of jail in 1925.
Meanwhile, the Congress leaders wondered if Rajnath Singh wants to paint Savarkar as a follower of Mahatma Gandhi even as historian Vikram Sampath came out in his support, pointing out that a letter written by Mahatma Gandhi to N D Savarkar to advise his brother in jail to seek mercy is available on the website of the Gandhi Sevagram Ashram as published in the "Collected works of Mahatma Gandhi" on Page 348 in Volume 19.

In his letter to N D Savarkar, Gandhi had purportedly written that he was pursuing his brother's case in his own way. "Difficult to advise you. I suggest, however, you framing a brief petition setting forth the facts of the case, bringing out in clear relief the fact that the offence committed by your brother was purely political. I suggest this in order that it would be possible to concentrate public attention on the case," Gandhi so wrote as brought out by Sampath.

He tweeted that Gandhi had also written an article in his magazine "Young India" on May 26, 1920 to bring out a focus on the issue. His tweet reads: "Some needless brouhaha abt statement by @rajnathsingh..... In countless interviews, I had stated already that in 1920 Gandhiji advised Savarkar brothers to file a petition & even made a case for his release through an essay in Young India 26 May 1920. So what's noise abt."

 

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