The Indian Parliament was engulfed in controversy on Thursday night as Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Lok Sabha MP Ramesh Bidhuri hurled disgusting anti-Muslim slurs at his parliamentary colleague, Danish Ali of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).
The shocking incident, which unfolded during the Lok Sabha proceedings, has ignited a nationwide debate about the use of offensive language within the country’s most esteemed democratic institution.
During the proceedings, Bidhuri’s derogatory remarks, using words like “ugrawaadi (militant)”, “aatankwadi (terrorist)”, “mulla (slur used for Muslims)”, “bhadwa (pimp)”, and “katwa (circumcised)”, were caught on camera, sending shockwaves across the nation.
While BJP MP uttered these highly objectionable slurs and urged for his removal with the words, “bahar pheko naa iss mulle ko”, shockingly, former Union health minister Harshvardhan and former Union Law Minister Ravishankar Prasad were seen laughing and applauding during the offensive remarks.
Despite the highly offensive nature of these comments, the BJP leadership has yet to take any substantial action against Bidhuri. While Defence Minister and Deputy Leader of the Lok Sabha, Rajnath Singh, expressed regret over the incident, he failed to unequivocally condemn the offensive language used by his party colleague.
The lack of immediate action has raised concerns and triggered widespread criticism. Congress leader Jairam Ramesh lambasted Singh’s apology as “insufficient” and dubbed it an “eyewash.” He demanded the suspension of Bidhuri, emphasizing the severity of the issue.
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) went a step further, calling for Bidhuri’s arrest, asserting that parliamentary privilege should not shield hate speech.
In response to the incident, Danish Ali has written to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, urging that Bidhuri’s comments be referred to the Lok Sabha privileges committee for a thorough investigation and appropriate action.
BJP MP Harsh Vardhan attempted to downplay the situation by claiming that both MPs had used unparliamentary language. However, he notably failed to address the communal slurs used by Bidhuri.
Opposition parties, including the Trinamool Congress and the National Conference, expressed their outrage, with some characterizing the incident as reflective of the BJP’s attitude towards Muslims.
The Aam Aadmi Party has gone so far as to label it the “blackest day” in the history of Parliament, emphasizing the immediate need for stern action against Bidhuri.
This unsettling incident has reignited the broader debate surrounding the language used within the hallowed halls of the Indian Parliament. It has prompted concerns about the erosion of decorum, respect for diversity, and the responsibility of lawmakers to set an example for the nation within the country’s democratic institutions.
Speaker Om Birla has issued a warning of “strict action” in the event of a recurrence but has not specified the action taken this time.
As the nation watches closely, the incident serves as a stark reminder of the importance of upholding the dignity and decorum of Parliament and ensuring that it remains a symbol of unity and diversity in India’s vibrant democracy.