Former foreign minister Khurshid Kasuri’s remarks come in wake of recent upsurge of religious extremism in India
Former foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri has claimed that the recent rise of right-wing Hindu extremism in India can only be stemmed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while also holding him responsible for it.
“Only Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi can send back the ‘Jinn of Hindutva’ into the bottle he brought it out from,” he was quoted as saying, IANS reported on Tuesday.
“Hindutva is a right-wing ideology which is centered on the following belief: The entire Indian subcontinent, which includes countries other than India, is the homeland of the Hindus,” local media reports quoted Kasuri as saying.
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The ex-foreign minister’s remarks come in the wake of recent upsurge of religious extremism in India which has met outrage from both sides of the border.
Last week, activists of Hindu-right wing Shiv Sena doused Kasuri’s book launch organiser with black ink. Sudheendra Kulkarni said he was assaulted as he left his home in Mumbai by a group of activists from the Hindu nationalist Shiv Sena party, who wanted to intimidate him. Kulkarni condemned the incident as an “assault on democracy” as he addressed the media in Mumbai, his face and hair covered in ink.
Further, a meeting between Pakistan and India’s cricket board officials was cancelled on Monday after Shiv Sena workers stormed the Mumbai office of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Shahryar Khan and the head of the PCB’s executive committee Najam Sethi had arrived in India on Sunday to hold talks with BCCI in a bid to finalise the India-Pakistan cricket series in December.
Moreover, the Shiv Sena also threatened Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar against officiating the fifth ODI between India and South Africa. Later, he was pulled out of the series by the International Cricket Council (ICC), citing threats by Shiv Sena.
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Earlier this month, threats from the Sena-led organisers to cancel Pakistani singer Ghulam Ali’s concert in Mumbai despite the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) assuring that the event would not be stopped.
Shiv Sena co-governs the Indian state of Maharashtra with Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party.