Karnataka: Congress leader Satish Jarkiholi apologises for Hindu remark

Karnataka: Congress leader Satish Jarkiholi apologises for 'Hindu' remark

Under fire for his controversial comments on the word Hindu,  senior Congress leader Satish Jarkiholi on Wednesday (November 9) withdrew his statement, and issued an apology.

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A political row has erupted over Satish Jarkiholi’s remark that the word “Hindu” was of Persian origin and had a “dirty” meaning. It has given the rival Bharatiya Janata Party a weapon to attack the Congress as an “anti-Hindu” party. He later defended the statement, adding fuel to the controversy.

In a letter to Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, Satish Jarkiholi, who is also Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) working president, asked the chief minister to set up a committee to investigate “people who are responsible for creating the controversy to tarnish his image”.

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“How has this come to India? I have been told that the meaning of the word Hindu is ‘dirty’. I, too, have been told that this has to be debated in the public domain. I have taken this from Wikipedia, books, dictionaries and writings of historians, and my speech was based on them. Some vested interests are trying to create an image that I am being anti-Hindu against me. They are trying to tarnish my image,” he said in the letter.

Asks Bommai to initiate probe

Satish Jarkiholi has also asked Bommai to set up an ‘investigation committee’ immediately to probe what he called “the act of some vested interests”.

“I have talked about ‘Buddha, Basava and Ambedkar’ and one word from the speech has triggered the whole controversy. It should not create any disharmony in society and I am withdrawing the statement. And I apologise for it,” he said, even as the issue snowballed into a big controversy in the state, which will go to polls in the next six months.

Satish Jarkiholi’s apology comes a day after state party president DK Shivakumar said the “Congress has nothing to do with Jarkiholi’s statement”.

It’s learnt that Jarkiholi had been asked to tone down his remarks by AICC president M Mallikarjuna Kharge and former CM Siddaramaiah “as a damage-control exercise”.

However, many in the party wondered why he chose to write to Bommai seeking a probe into the matter instead of just apologising and moving on.

Also read: Politics of food: Practice, not texts, determines Hinduism

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