Cong leader stirs Hindu ‘origin’ row, says ‘dirty meaning’; BJP hits back

Karnataka Congress working president Satish Jarkiholi’s remarks that the word “Hindu” has Persian origin and that, according to Wikipedia, the “meaning of the word Hindu is very dirty” has stirred a political row in the state, with the BJP hitting back and asking the opposition party whether it is trying to strengthen its vote bank by speaking against Hindu religion.

All India Congress Committee general secretary in-charge of Karnataka, Randeep Singh Surjewala, condemned the controversial statements in a bid to distance the party from Jarkiholi’s remarks, the state BJP hit back,

Speaking at an event held on Sunday at Nippani, in Belagavi district of the state, Jarkiholi said that the origin of the word “Hindu” and Hindu religion should be discussed since it was not “ours”.

“Where did the word Hindu originate? Is it ours? It’s Persian,” he said, noting that Persia refers to the geographical region of present-day Iraq, Iran, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. “Then what is the relation between it (Hindu religion) and India? How did ‘Hindu’ become yours? This should be discussed,” he said.

Asking the gathering to search Wikipedia for the origin of the word Hindu, the former state minister said it did not belong to this region. “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 (Wikipedia)…. You have brought this religion, (and) word from somewhere else and are imposing it on us. This should be discussed.

Tagging state Congress president D K Shivakumar, the BJP posted a tweet and asked whether “the remarks by Congress working president Satish Jarkiholi the stand of the Congress party.”

In an effort to distance the party from the controversy, Surjewala tweeted, “Hinduism is a way of life & a civilisational 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.”

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