Minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju on Monday waded into yet another controversy when he suggested that a Kargil martyr’s daughter, who has taken on the ABVP on Twitter, was being influenced by vested interests.
Who's polluting this young girl's mind? A strong Arm Force prevents a war. India never attacked anyone but a weak India was always invaded. https://t.co/gXHkAGi9sh— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) February 27, 2017
The minister’s comment comes at a time when a war is raging in the social media over Gurmehar Kaur’s Twitter campaign against the student wing of the Rashtirya Swayamsewak Sangh, the ideological parent of the BJP.
This is not the first time that the 45-year-old BJP leader from Arunachal Pradesh has talked his way into a controversy. Threatening to beat up opponents with shoes to raking up the issue of conversions, the member of Parliament from Arunachal West has had a lot to say. A few samples:
February 13: “Hindu population is reducing in India because Hindus never convert people. Minorities in India are flourishing unlike some countries around,” Rijiju tweeted, triggering a political firestorm.
His comments were seen as a reflection of RSS’s view about the “growing influence” of Christian missionaries in the Northeast. The RSS accuses them of converting the tribal population to Christianity.
November 2016: “First of all we should stop this habit of raising doubt, questioning the authorities and the police. This is not a good culture. But what we have been observing in India that the people have developed this habit of raising unnecessary doubts and questions,” Rijiju said after eight alleged Simi operatives were gunned down in Madhya Pradesh.
The minister later clarified that in a democracy the government could be questioned but it was not good to question security forces based on a few video clips.
A judicial probe is on the encounter.
November 2015: Rijiju said the country’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru let the people of Northeast down during the 1962 India-China war, drawing sharp protests from the Congress.
October 2015: “I was witness to a statement made by one of the lieutenant governors of Delhi some years ago. He had stated that people of north India enjoy breaking rules and by evening he was forced to apologise. But I believe what he said was right,” Rijiju said at a function in Delhi.
May 2015: “I eat beef. I’m from Arunachal Pradesh. Can somebody stop me? So let us not be touchy about somebody’s practices,” Rijiju, a practising Buddhist, said in Mizoram. His comments came after party colleague and minority affairs minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said those who want to eat beef should go to Pakistan. Rijiju later said he was misquoted.