NEW DELHI: Less than a week after BJP suspended its spokesperson Nupur Sharma for her comments on Prophet Muhammad, support for her seems to be swelling in the saffron ranks with VHP and individual party MPs taking angry exception to the threats to behead her.
Over 200 Sants, who had gathered in Haridwar on Saturday for a two-day VHP congregation, came out strongly in support of Sharma and BJP’s Naveen Jindal in the face of the “Gustakh-e-Rasool Ki Ek Hi Saza, Sar Tan Se Juda” (One who is guilty blasphemising the Prophet deserves to be killed) calls saying that the Hindu society will not tolerate such brazen threats. They have also argued that Sharma only referred to an authentic Hadith.
Most of the Sants at Haridwar were upset over the way the Muslim community has resorted to violent protests in different parts of the country. They said the court will decide the nature of Nupur Sharma’s statement as to whether it was a hate speech. She had quoted an Islamic scripture and if someone had any objections, courts will decide and the matter can’t be decided on streets through violence,” VHP spokesperson Vinod Bansal told TOI. The solidarity marks a break from the silence by the saffron fraternity after BJP suspended Nupur and Jindal on a day when Qatar and Kuwait raised objection against “insult” to the Prophet.
Sources said the change of stand has been provoked by the threats by terror outfits al-Qaida and Taliban as well as the belligerence by Islamic outfits which have staged violent protests in different parts of the country and have announced bounty for those who volunteer to kill her.
While BJP has justified the action saying that Nupur Sharma defied express instructions to focus on development agenda, individual BJP MPs like Uma Bharti and Sadhvi Pragya have taken up cudgels for the suspended spokesperson. “Our party gave punishment to the spokesperson, and MEA handled the situation on the reaction of Muslim nations well, but we cannot throw her (Sharma) to wolves,” Bharti said as threats to Nupur escalated.
Another BJP MP, former cricketer Gautam Gambhir, has attacked “liberals” for keeping mum in the face of death threats held out by Muslim bodies and leaders.
VHP President Alok Kumar said the Jihadis amongst the Muslims are trying to take the community to the path of violence; which is neither in the interest of the community nor of the country.