In a recent interview Al-Jazeera, speaking on a TV debate on racism in India, Tarun Vijay,Bharatiya Janatha Party leader and editor of Rashritya Swayamsevak Sangh weekly, when asked about why India was being called racist by practically everybody around, asserted that had India been racist, it wouldn’t have had a place for the South-Indians.
At a time when the brutal assault on two Nigerian students by a mob in a Greater Noida mall has been raising questions on whether the people from other countries, especially African, are safe in India or not,Tarun Vijay has come under the scanner for a rather unfortunate comment that he intended to make while defending India’s policy of anti-racism.
Tarun Vijay is BJP’s Rajya Sabha member and president of the India-Africa Parliamentary Friendship Group.
Tarun Vijay has kicked a storm by calling South Indians “blacks”. “If we were racist, why would we have all the entire South (India) which is… you know Tamil Nadu, you know Karnataka and Andhra… why do we live with them? We have black people all around us,” Vijay said in response to a Bengaluru-based photographer who said he found Indians to be racists.
“You are denying your own nation, you are denying your own ancestry, you are denying your own history, you are denying your own culture… and you are trying to be good. That’s very bad,” the agitated MP said.
Vijay’s comments have invited an univocal wrath especially in the wake of reports of ‘racial’ attacks in various parts of the country.
After facing severe backlash for his remarks, the BJP leader apologised on Friday saying he did not convey what he had meant to.
Admitting that his choice of words sounded “ridiculous” and “very bad”, Vijay clarified in a series of tweets he had meant to say that India’s racial demographic is diverse, but it has never been an issue for its citizens.
He also took the example of Lord Krishna, saying that while Krishna means black, we worship him; reiterating his stand that racism was not a problem in India.
“I feel the entire statement was this- we have fought racism and we have people with different colour and culture still never had any racism (sic),” he tweeted.
“My words perhaps were not enough to convey this. Feel bad, really feel sorry, my apologies to those who feel in said different than what I meant (sic),” he said in a tweet.