Outrage in India: Opposition pillories V K Singh for dog remark on Dalit killing



Outrage in India: Opposition pillories V K Singh for dog remark on Dalit killing
Union Minister V.K. Singh draws analogy that if someone throws stones at a dog, the government is not responsible

New Delhi: Union Minister V.K. Singh on Thursday blamed a family feud for the burning alive of two Dalit children in Haryana and drew an analogy that if someone throws stones at a dog, the government is not responsible.


But as the comment stirred up a controversy, the minister came out with a clarification and said he did not intend to draw a comparison.

"If someone throws stones at a dog, the government is not responsible. It was a feud between two families, the matter in under inquiry," Singh told reporters.

His comment came after two children were burnt alive while their parents were critically injured when the house of the Dalit family in Haryana's Faridabad district was set on fire on Tuesday.

"Failure of administration should not be put on government's head," he added.

But after a row broke out over his remark, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala sought the minister's removal, adding that he should be booked under law.

'Shocking, inhuman'
"What V.K. Singh said was shocking, inhuman and it is unacceptable... I do not understand what is happening to Modi's ministers," Surjewala told media.

"He should be booked under prevention of atrocities against SC and ST Act," he said.

The minister later clarified: "My statement wasn't intended to draw an analogy. My men and I put our lives on the line for the nation irrespective of caste, creed and religion."

"I standby to serve India with the same spirit, right now and always. Our nation, its success and its people motivate me daily," he said in a series of tweets.

He, however, added that "localised issues" should not be blown up.

"As citizens of this great nation we are sensitive but also responsible. The agenda of India is bigger than any single neighbourhood or individual... We must stand united and let no one exploit our diversity by blowing up localised issues," he said.

Pilloried
Singh was on Thursday pilloried by opposition parties for his dog remark on Dalit killing in Faridabad with a demand made for his sacking and Narendra Modi's infamous "puppy" analogy in the context of 2002 Gujarat riots also being raked up.

The opposition also demanded that a criminal case be registered against Singh, a former Army Chief, under the Prevention of Atrocities on Schedule Castes Act.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), however, stood by Singh, observing that the minister himself has said that his statement was not intended to draw an analogy between the Faridabad incident and stoning of a dog. "We should not blow the whole thing out of proportion," BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said.

Senior Congress leader Manish Tewari described the dog analogy used by Singh as "preposterous and abominable".

"Xomparing the death of two little children who were burnt alive to possibly the stoning of a dog.what could be more preposterous and abominable than that. This reflects the mindset of the government. To recall the Prime Minister of India made a similar analogy about two years back in an interview(when he was chief minister of Gujarat) when he said that if a pup gets crushed under the wheels of a car that needs to be emphasised too. That remark was in the context of the Gujarat pogrom," he said.

Arrogant
CPI(M) politburo member Brinda Karat described Singh's remarks as "arrogance of casteism" and demanded registration of a criminal case against him.

"His statement is a clear casteist statement and it comes under the provisions of the prevention of crime against SC Act. Therefore, this gentleman has to be booked under the Act for casteism and casteist comments.

"Secondly, how can such a man remain in the Central Cabinet. Of course, we all know that Modiji at one time had talked about puppies in relation to a particular community. But at least now that he is Prime Minister, hopefully he will get over his own prejudices and take action against his person," she said.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called Singh's statement as shameful and and that it was prosecutable under SC/ST Act. "A case should be registered against him immediately," he added.

The CPI said Singh's remarks are "visible signs of emergence of cultural fascism" in the country under Narendra Modi regime.

Outrage in India: Opposition pillories V K Singh for dog remark on Dalit killing Outrage in India: Opposition pillories V K Singh for dog remark on Dalit killing Reviewed by Ajit Kumar on 9:21 PM Rating: 5

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