Indian minister's remark triggers uproar

Prime minister rejects calls to sack minister, but says her comments against minorities were unacceptable.

    Indian minister's remark triggers uproar
    Indian prime minister Narendra Modi has urged MPs to forgive the minister's comments [AP]

    Indian prime minister Narendra Modi has rejected calls to sack a government minister who was accused of making controversial statements about religious minority groups.

    Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti was accused of saying at an election rally earlier in the week in New Delhi that Indians "who do not choose the sons of Ram [the Hindu God] are illegitimate".

    Local media quoted her as saying on Monday :"It is for you to decide, whether you want to vote for those who believe in Ram or those who are non-believers."

    Her statements, construed as a verbal attack on minorities, had led to an uproar that shut down parliament for four days.

    Opposition lawmakers had sought her removal from the council of ministers on the grounds that her comments went against India's secular constitution.

    However, Jyoti has apologised and insisted that she did intend to insult any religious group and was rather criticising political rivalries of the ruling BJP party.

    The BJP is seeking to wrest control of New Delhi when provincial elections are held in January.

    Modi, who admitted that her remarks were unacceptable, also told MPs on Friday that Niranjan had expressed regret for her comments and sought foregiveness.


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Why some African Americans are moving to Africa

    Escaping systemic racism: Why I quit New York for Accra

    African-Americans are returning to the lands of their ancestors as life becomes precarious and dangerous in the USA.

    What happens when the US government shuts down?

    The US government has shut down. What happens next?

    US federal government begins partial shutdown after Senate blocks short-term spending bill. What happens next?

    Why is the West praising Malala, but ignoring Ahed?

    Why is the West praising Malala, but ignoring Ahed?

    Is an empowered Palestinian girl not worthy of Western feminist admiration?