“Can An Entire Nation Be Blamed?" Remarks Navjot Singh Sidhu Over Pulwama Attack
Celebrities, politicians and commoners alike have taken the social media by storm after cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu, while condemning the terror attack in Pulwama said, “Can an entire nation be blamed for a handful of people?”
What did Sidhu say?
“It (the terror attack) is a cowardly and dastardly act and I condemn it firmly. Violence is always condemnable and those who did it must be punished,” he added. He also called for a “dialogue to find a permanent solution to end the bloodshed.” These statements landed the Punjab minister in a huge controversy. In the terror attack, which the Jaish-e-Mohammed or JeM took responsibility of, at least 40 CRPF security personnel were killed as a suicide bomber rammed into one of the 78 busses which were carrying jawans from Jammu to Srinagar.
Following such a comment from Sidhu, hashtags like #boycottSidhu and #boycottkapilsharmashow were seen trending on Twitter. Following such remarks and hate online, the makers of The Kapil Sharma Show, of which Sidhu is a part of, has taken the decision to remove him from the show and replace him.
We welcome Archana Puran Singh on #TheKapilSharmaShow, next Sunday! @apshaha @KapilSharmaK9 @kikusharda @Krushna_KAS @bharti_lalli @sumona24 @RochelleMRao @trulyedward @haanjichandan @Banijayasia pic.twitter.com/NWFDxp9VcT
— Sony TV (@SonyTV) February 17, 2019
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on February 16 asked Congress president Rahul Gandhi to expel Sidhu from the party. According to SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia, if the Congress does not expel Sidhu, then it would mean that the whole statement was “made at the direction of Rahul Gandhi,” reported Moneycontrol.
Calls to boycott Sidhu
“Navjot Sidhu apparently does not know even now that Pakistan is the fountainhead of terrorism. Even the US has condemned the Pulwama attack and said on record that it was conducted by Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammad,” Bikram Singh Majithia said.
On February 18, the Opposition Shiromani Akali Dal not only sought the dismissal of the leader but before the Punjab budget session, the Akali leaders burnt Sidhu’s photographs. India Today quoted Majithia as saying, “Before everything else, we want to know the clear stand of the Congress and the Punjab government. Do they condemn Pakistan Army chief and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.” As the Question Hour commenced, the SAD-BJP leaders raised slogans against Sidhu and even tried to disrupt Sidhu’s replies by raising slogans.
Meanwhile, Sidhu in his latest reply said, “Those who are branding me as anti-national should tell the people as to who had handed him (Massod) over to Pakistan. What they (BJP) had been doing all these years to get at him,” reported Hindustan Times. He further stated that his earlier statement had been distorted by people and that he regards Nationalism as the highest religion and he stands by the nation.