DK Shivakumar, Karnataka Assembly polls, elections, Congress
DK Shivakumar claimed BJP leaders are joining the Congress in the state without any conditions and accepting the party’s ideology and leadership | File photo

‘Hindu’ remark Jarkiholi’s personal opinion, not Congress’: DK Shivakumar

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Karnataka Congress has distanced itself from Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee working president Satish Jarkiholi’s comments on the word “Hindu,” saying it did not agree with him.

State party president DK Shivakumar said on Tuesday, “Satish Jarkiholi’s statement is his personal opinion and not the Congress party’s. We will ask for his explanation on the remark.” He added that the party did not agree with his statement.

Also read: Satish Jarkiholi: Sugar baron of Belgavi in a relentless fight against superstition

A political row has erupted over Jarkiholi’s remark that the word “Hindu” was of Persian origin and had a “dirty” meaning. It has given the rival BJP a weapon to attack the Congress as an “anti-Hindu” party.

“Congress party supports all religions and does not agree with his statement,” Shivakumar stated.

BJP attacks Congress

Jarkiholi said at an event in Belagavi district on Monday, “Where has the word ‘Hindu’ come from? It has come from Persia…So, what is its relation with India? How’s ‘Hindu’ yours? Check on WhatsApp, and Wikipedia, the term isn’t yours. Why do you want to put it on a pedestal?… Its meaning is horrible.”

A video of Jarkiholi’s speech has since gone viral on social media, and the BJP has slammed the Congress for “insulting Hindus.” Union Minster Anurag Thakur has said the Congress “always remembers gods and goddesses at the time of elections.”

Also read: Kejriwal’s call for deities’ images on currency notes shows he’ll go to any extent for Hindu votes

“It is become a habit for Congress and AAP leaders to demean Hindus and insult Hindu gods and goddesses. Only during elections do they remember gods and goddesses. The rest of the time, they keep abusing them,” Thakur said.

Jarkiholi’s counter-argument

However, Jarkiholi has refused to apologise for his statement. He defended himself in a video statement on Tuesday, 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.

(With agency inputs)

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