15 Jan 2020
Mani Shankar Aiyar's 'qatil' remark at Shaheen Bagh sparks row
Written byShalini Ojha
Senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar has a penchant for landing in news. And ironically, his words help his political rival, the BJP, reap electoral benefits.
Keeping up with the same tradition, Aiyar on Tuesday sparked controversy by using the term "qatil" for the current regime.
He was speaking at Delhi's Shaheen Bagh, where a protest against Citizenship Amendment Act has been going on.
Background: CAA protests gave opposition ammunition to target BJP
Since it was tabled in the Parliament, CAA has garnered nothing but controversies.
Many believe by not giving Muslims from neighboring countries a preferential treatment in obtaining Indian citizenship, BJP showed its "bigoted" nature.
Combined with a nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC), CAA can be used to target Muslims, feel protesters.
The opposition is tapping on the anger to slam BJP.
Shaheen Bagh's protest has invited flurry of politicians
The protest underway at Shaheen Bagh has garnered the maximum attention, so naturally, politicians are flocking the area to "express solidarity".
Last weekend, Congress' parliamentarian Shashi Tharoor visited Shaheen Bagh and spoke about dissent and the right to protest.
Tharoor also spent some time at Jamia Millia and Jawaharlal Nehru Universities.
"Dissent is very precious in our country," he said.
Aiyar praised Shaheen Bagh's resilient women, slammed Centre
Following Tharoor's footsteps, Aiyar also visited Shaheen Bagh and praised women, who are leading the agitation.
"You have said that you don't need any politician. You have been sitting here for the last thirty days, leaving home behind," he said, claiming that the government can't demand documents from genuine citizens.
He said the government was employing tactics to divert attention from the economy.
Will see whose hands are stronger, ours or killer's: Aiyar
Standing against a poster having photos of founding fathers like BR Ambedkar, Aiyar then said, "I am ready for whatever sacrifices that need to be made. We will see whose hands are stronger, ours or that killer's."
You can watch his speech here
#WATCH Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar at the protest against #CAA #NRC, in Delhi's Shaheen Bagh: Jo bhi qurbaniyan deni hon, usme main bhi shaamil hone ke liye tayaar hun. Ab dekhein ki kiska hath mazboot hai, hamara ya uss kaatil ka? pic.twitter.com/ojV4QU9dMs— ANI (@ANI) January 14, 2020
Congress has send its 'Brahmastra', said BJP
As one would expect, BJP took a jibe at Aiyar. The Karnataka wing of the saffron party put out a tweet reading: "Pakistan's Official Representative in India, Sri Mani Shankar Aiyar joins protests against #CAA in Shaheen Bagh, Delhi. It appears that @INCIndia has unleashed its Brahmastra against PM @narendramodi (sic)."
Others on social media commented the protest won't last long now.
Do you know?
Aiyar called PM Modi "neech aadmi", his statement helped BJP
It was Aiyar who had called Prime Minister Narendra Modi "neech" during 2017 Gujarat polls. Congress took disciplinary action against him, but by then PM Modi milked the opportunity by saying he attacked people of Gujarat. Later, BJP formed a government in the state.
Delhi Police has been asked to do something about traffic
Since December 15, women of Shaheen Bagh have been braving chilling weather to register their protest against CAA. The agitation forced police to block Shaheen Bagh-Kalindi Kunj stretch causing traffic woes.
Yesterday, the Delhi High Court, while hearing a plea demanding the lifting of curbs, refused to intervene but directed Delhi Police to give relief to locals depending on the situation on the ground.