Accused of appeasing Muslims, Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal on Monday shot back at his detractors, defending a letter to the minority community. It was only an attempt to warn them against vote-bank politics, he said.
In an open letter, Kejriwal said: "How does demanding an impartial investigation into the Ishrat Jahan issue become Muslim appeasement? All that we are demanding is an impartial investigation? Isn't an impartial investigation needed?".
"There is no doubt that several terrorists are Muslims. But this does not mean that every Muslim is a terrorist. I know scores of Muslims who have given up everything for the country," Kejriwal said.
The AAP leader was responding to criticism of another open letter written by him on July 12. He had brought up the issue of men from the minority community being implicated in false terror cases: "In Delhi and at the Centre, it is the Congress which is in power. So whom can they blame for implicating Muslim youth in false terror cases?"
In his latest open letter titled 'Politics of Brotherhood', Kejriwal said: "(Also) in case of Batla House, several people have a doubt if those youth needed to be killed or could they have been arrested alive? If they were terrorist, it was pertinent to arrest them and reach their handlers. But if they were innocent, shouldn't the police personnel present on the occasion be punished? A brave police officer Mohan Chand Sharma lost his life in the call of duty. How did he die and under what circumstances? Does demanding impartial investigation into this matter tantamount to Muslim appeasement?" Kejriwal asked.
A video clip with Kejriwal reading out the same message was also uploaded on AAP's Facebook page simultaneously.
"If I want to forge peace and harmony between Hindus and Muslims through this letter, what's wrong in it? If I am appealing Muslims to get rid of Congress' votebank politics, what's wrong in it?"
The activist-turned-politician pointed out that he had earlier written similar letters to traders, the Valmiki community, slum dwellers and auto-rickshaw drivers, whoh have been "used as vote banks by both the Congress and the BJP".
He wondered that while nobody said a word about these letters, his detractors chose to target his letter to the Muslims. "I want to write letters to different groups of society to warn them about the dirty votebank politics of these two parties."
"The day people will understand this 'small yet significant' truth that it is not Hindus and Muslims who are enemies of each other but the divisive politics, these politicians will have to wind up their operations."