Karnataka Congress, Satish Laxmanrao Jarkiholi, Satish Laxmanrao Jarkiholis remarks on Hinduism, Hindu a dirty word
Satish Laxmanrao Jarkiholi is the president of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (file photo)

Books mention Persian roots of ‘Hindu’: Karnataka Cong leader defends remark

A day after Senior Karnataka Congress leader Satish Laxmanrao Jarkiholi stirred up a hornet’s nest with his remarks on the word “Hindu,” he defended himself, saying many books mention the “Persian” roots of the word.

“There’s nothing wrong in what I said. There are hundreds of records about how this Persian word (Hindu) came. This has been mentioned in Swamy Dayanand Saraswati’s book Satyarth Prakash, Dr GS Patil’s book Basava Bharatha and Bal Gangadhar Tilak’s Kesari newspaper as well. These are just three or four examples. There are many such articles available on Wikipedia or any website. You should please read it,” he said in a video statement on Tuesday.

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The controversial remark

Jarkiholi on Monday angered the BJP and embarrassed his own party with his statement that the word “Hindu” is vulgar and does not originate from the Indian subcontinent. It was borrowed from Persian, he said.

“Where has ‘Hindu’ term come from? It’s come from Persia…So, what is its relation with India? How’s ‘Hindu’ yours? Check on WhatsApp, Wikipedia. The term isn’t yours. Why do you want to put it on a pedestal? Its meaning is horrible,” said Jarkiholi, who is the president of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee.

Speaking at an event at Nippani in Belagavi district, Jarkiholi said the word has its origin in the present-day Iraq, Iran, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan and there should be a discussion on its origin and Hindu religion based on these facts.

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Asking the audience to look up the word on Wikipedia, he said once one knows its meaning, s/he would be “ashamed.”

“If you understand the meaning of the word, you will be ashamed… The meaning of the word Hindu is very dirty. I am not saying this. This is on the website… You have brought religion, word from somewhere else and are imposing it on us. This should be discussed,” he was quoted as saying.

Slammed by BJP and Congress

While the BJP has dubbed Jarkiholi’s remarks as “insulting and provocative,” the Congress has called it “deeply unfortunate.”

“They should not be creating confusion. Respect the sentiments; respect the culture instead of being critical. Don’t create unnecessary controversies; it is not good in the interest of societies,” Karnataka higher education minister Dr Ashwathnarayan CN said.

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Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala in a statement on Twitter “unequivocally” condemned the remarks by Jarkiholi.

“Hinduism is a way of life & a civilizational reality. Congress built our Nation to respect every religion, belief & faith. This is the essence of India. The statement attributed to Satish Jarkiholi is deeply unfortunate & deserves to be rejected. We condemn it unequivocally,” Surjewala wrote.

(With agency inputs)

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