The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Tuesday accused former Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi of hurting the sentiments of the Sikh community at a book launch event in Chennai.
A controversy erupted after a video of the former IPS officer purportedly cracking a “12o clock” joke on Sikhs at the launch of her book Fearless Governance on Monday went viral on social media.
AAPs Punjab in-charge Jarnail Singh condemned Bedis remarks.
“When the Mughals were looting India and abducting women, the Sikhs fought them and protected sisters and daughters. 12 oclock was the time to attack the Mughals. This is the history of 12 oclock.
“Shame on the BJPs leaders who have a cheap mentality and make fun of Sikhs instead of giving them respect,” Singh said in a tweet in Hindi.
In a party statement, Singh accused Bedi of “disrespecting and hurting the sentiments” of the Sikh community.
He said it is highly condemnable that Bedi, who hails from Punjab, deliberately made fun of Sikhs.
Demanding an unconditional apology from her, Punjab AAP chief spokesperson Malvinder Singh said, “I pity BJP leader Kiran Bedi if she isnt aware of the Sikh history. If she has deliberately tried to defame the Sikh community or make fun of it, then there is nothing more shameful.” Punjab Jails, Mines and Geology Minister Harjot Singh Bains sought the registration of an FIR against Bedi over her remarks.
“Shame on you and your thinking @thekiranbedi. Read about Sikhs & their history and the contribution of Sikhs to India. BJP is a factory of leaders having such a cheap mindset. Why BJP is silent?. I urge Chairman NCM @ILalpura to immediately lodge FIR against her (sic),” Bains said in a tweet.
Punjab Congress president Amrinder Singh Raja Warring also hit out at Bedi and demanded her apology for “hurting” sentiments of the Sikh community.
“Shocking and shameful to crack a joke on a community that too when you are a Punjabi yourself. Kiran Bedi must apologise for hurting sentiments of Sikh community or we will understand that the BJP has tasked its leaders for the particular job,” Warring tweeted.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday evening, Bedi posted on Twitter some of the abusive responses from some social media users to her remark, for which, the former Lt Governor of Puducherry said, she had already expressed regret.
“Despite having regretted it, Im receiving very obscene abuses on email, WhatsApp and Twitter. I urge the abusers to refrain from doing so and not put me into a situation where I may have to place them in the public domain. It will be exceedingly embarrassing for the identity of abusers then,” she tweeted.
As her remarks evoked sharp reactions from various quarters, Bedi, in another tweet, said, “I have the highest regards for my community. I am a devotee of Baba Nanak Dev Ji. What I said to the audience even at my own cost (as I also belong here) be kindly not be misread. I seek forgiveness for this. I am the last person to cause any hurt. I believe in Seva and loving kindness”.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Federal staff and is auto-published from a syndicated feed.)