Updated: Tue, 07 Jun 2022 11:21 AM IST
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The row over controversial remarks on Prophet Muhammad by two now-suspended BJP functionaries - Nupur Sharma and Naveen Kumar Jindal - continues to intensify as India tries to defuse the anger in Islamic countries, asserting that it has the "highest respect" for all religions.
On Monday, India also slammed the 57-nation Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for its "motivated" and "mischievous" comments on the matter and said that it exposed its "divisive agenda" which is being pursued at the behest of "vested interests."
"The Government of India categorically rejects OIC Secretariat's unwarranted and narrow-minded comments. The Government of India accords the highest respect to all religions," Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said.
"The offensive tweets and comments denigrating a religious personality were made by certain individuals. They do not, in any manner, reflect the views of the Government of India."
India hits out at Pak
India on Monday also slammed Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and said the "absurdity of a serial violator of minority rights commenting on the treatment of minorities in another nation is not lost on anyone."
Bagchi said that India "accords the highest respect to all religions. This is quite unlike Pakistan where fanatics are eulogized and monuments built in their honour".
Earlier in the day, Sharif had strongly condemned the derogatory remarks made by the BJP spokespersons. "I condemn in the strongest possible words hurtful comments of India's BJP leader about our beloved Prophet. (I have) said it repeatedly India under Modi is trampling religious freedoms and persecuting Muslims. The world should take note and severely reprimand India," he had tweeted.
Qatar, Iran and Kuwait summon Indian ambassadors
Indian ambassadors in Qatar, Iran and Kuwait have also been summoned by their respective governments in protest against the remarks by Sharma and Jindal. Later, Indian embassies in these countries clarified that their remarks "do not, in any manner, reflect the views of the government of India".
Oppn attack govt
While India tries to defuse the tensions, opposition parties have criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for remarks by Sharma and Jindal, and urged the Centre to take action against those "propagating hate".
"The Sangh Parivar forces have brought our country, which is revered by all as a secular democracy, to a state of embarrassment in front of the world," said Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday.
"Many Islamic countries that provide employment to lakhs of Indians and also play a major role in the development of our economy, have raised voices against the hate politics of BJP and Sangh Parivar. These countries have good relations with India."
The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has also called for "strict" punishment for Sharma and Jindal, saying their suspension is inadequate. It also said that legal actions should be taken against the two spokesperson.
"Some activists of the ruling party of the country made objectionable and indecent remarks on the Prophet, it caused severe pain to all the Muslims of the country and at the global level. Due to this, the reputation of the country has been hurt. Suspending the 'perpetrators' of such 'heinous crimes' from the party is certainly a good thing but it is not enough," it said in a statement.
(With inputs from agencies)