PM Imran calls out BJP's Dr Subramanian Swamy over his bigoted comments regarding Muslims

April 03, 2020

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Bharti Janta Party MP Subramanian Swamy. — Photo courtesy New Indian Express
Bharti Janta Party MP Subramanian Swamy. — Photo courtesy New Indian Express

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Subramanian Swamy is facing backlash over his bigoted comments that Muslims in India do not deserve the same rights as everyone else living in the country.

In a video snippet shared on Twitter on Thursday by VICE, the BJP MP, when asked about India's controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act, alleged: "We know where the Muslim population is large there is always trouble — because the Islamic ideology says so."

"If Muslim [population] becomes more than 30 per cent [in any country], that country is in danger," Swamy claimed, upon which journalist Isobel Yeung pointed out that his comments sounded like language of hatred. "It is easy to call this hatred, I am being kind to them by not letting them enter India."

When reminded that Article 14 of the Indian constitution ensures equal rights for everyone in India, he went on to say that this was a misinterpretation of the Article, saying: "The law ensures equal rights for equals."

"Are all people not equal? Are Muslims not equal In India?" asked Yeung.

"No, not all people are equal, Muslims do not fall into the equal category," Swamy said.

The full interview is set to go on air on Sunday.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, sharing the VICE video clip, said that BJP's leadership is now openly speaking about Muslims like Nazis spoke about Jews.

PTI leader Ali Haider Zaidi also tweeted the video clip, condemning the remarks made by Swamy and said that his words are "perfectly fascist and racist".

Among those who called out the BJP lawmaker was author and commentator on economy Salman Anees Soz, who said that Swamy "is a bitter man, wallowing in his own filth."

Vinod K. Jose, editor of The Caravan said that the CAA, the Delhi violence and the mass fleeing of the poor due to coronavirus "is the practical demonstration of this dictum getting played out in India?"

Defending the CAA

Swamy has repeatedly defended the CAA and had earlier termed Sonia Gandhi as a "true Nazi" for saying that the law discriminates against Muslims in India.

"The true Nazis are the Nazi soldier's daughter led uprising on a lie that CAA is anti Muslim! If you are pro Hindu, then you must be anti Muslim. If you are pro Muslim, you are secular," Swamy said on Twitter in response to Gandhi's criticism of the use of "brute force to suppress dissent", News18 had reported on March 6.

Furthermore, Swamy has repeatedly said that the CAA would not affect Indian Muslims.

"Many are protesting against the CAA, but they have not read the bill. I think most Congress people cannot read and write," The New Indian Express reported Swami as saying during a public address at Bengaluru.

"What is the bill about? That those who were persecuted because of their religion and left Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh came to India, they are still illegal migrants. They cannot get jobs as they do not have any documents.

"For 70 years, Congress was speaking about giving them citizenship, but they did not implement this. Our (Indian) Muslim minorities and their citizenship is not affected at all because of CAA. As Muslims are not persecuted in Pakistan and Bangladesh due to their religion, Muslims were not included in the list,” Swamy was quoted as saying.

Swamy's comments came at a time when India was experiencing violent riots over the controversial CAA.

A report published by The New York Times about the New Delhi clashes that left at least 50 dead said that evidence suggests that the city police "concertedly moved against Muslims" and "actively helped Hindu mobs" that targeted Muslims and their homes during the deadly riots that gripped the Indian capital in February.