Vinay Katiyar, a leading Member of Parliament (MP) of the ruling Bharatiy Janata Party (BJP), said Wednesday (February 7) that the Muslims should not stay in India and should go to Bangladesh or Pakistan.
He told the Asian News International (ANI), "Muslims should not stay in India. They divided the nation on the basis of population. So, what's the need of them staying here (in India)? They have been given lands. (They) should go to Bangladesh or Pakistan."
The BJP MP also said that there should be a bill to punish those who do not respect Vande Matram. "There should be a bill that punishes those who do not respect Vande Matram, those who insult the national flag... those who hoist the Pakistani flag, they should be punished," Katiyar said.
Katiyar's remarks came after All India Majlis-e Ittehadul Muslimeen, chief and Member of Parliament, Asaduddin Owaisi, demanded that there should be a law against those who call an Indian Muslim 'a Pakistani'.
Speaking to the media on Tuesday outside the parliament, Owaisi urged the government to introduce a law to this effect and suggested a punishment with three-year jail term to any person who says this, reported ANI.
"Even after 70 years of Independence, I am called a Pakistani. Why? We rejected Jinnah's invitation. Now I can't even hoist the Tricolour at free will. Why can't there be a law just like those that apply to SC/STs?," asked Owaisi.
"Bring a law that if any Muslim is called Pakistani, the person will face three-year jail term," he said, but added that the BJP-led government will not bring such a bill.
Owaisi said Muslims living in India had rejected Mohammad Ali Jinnah's two-nation theory.
Owaisi, who was taking part in the debate in the Lok Sabha on the motion of thanks to the President's address, also said the triple talaq bill was "anti-women."
He said that if the Modi government is really interested in empowerment of Muslim women, they should allocate 7% seats in education and jobs for Muslim women. The current Triple Talaq bill will destroy Muslim marriages, put men in jails and women on roads, he said.
Tellingly, two days ago, BJP MP Katiyar stirred a controversy when he said that the Taj Mahal in Agra will soon become "Tej Mandir". When asked about the 'Taj Mahostav' being held in Agra, the MP told ANI, "Call it Taj Mahotsav or Tej Mahotsav both are the same things. There is not much difference between Taj and Tej. Our Tej Mandir has been turned into a cremation ground by Aurangzeb. Taj Mahal will be converted into Tej Mandir soon."
BJP MP Katiyar's anti-Muslim statement came at a time when a systematic campaign has been launched by the ruling party, BJP and RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh), against the Muslims who number about 175 million, the largest number Muslim population anywhere except Indonesia.
Tellingly, last month, Surendra Singh, a legislator of the ruling BJP, said that once India becomes a "Hindu rashtra", only those Muslims will stay in the country who assimilate into the Hindu culture. "There are a very few Muslims who are patriotic. Once India becomes a Hindu rashtra (Hindu nation), Muslims who assimilate into our culture will stay in India. Those who will not are free to take asylum in any other country," Singh told reporters on January 13.
He also claimed that by 2024, India would become a Hindu nation. Describing Prime Minister Narendra Modi as an "avatar purush" (reincarnation of a deity), Singh said: "As the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) completes 100 years in 2025, by 2024, India will become a Hindu rashtra. By the grace of god, India is going to be a global superpower thanks to the leadership of Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Not only will India become a 'vishwa guru', it will also become a Hindu rashtra by 2024."
It may be recalled that Nathan Godse, a RSS member, assassinated the father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi in 1948.
It may be recalled that in June last, approximately 150 Hindu outfits held a four-day convention in Goa to chalk out a program for establishing a 'Hindu Rashtra' in India by 2023.