BJP MP from Bangalore South Tejavi Surya on August 5 triggered a massive row after he tweeted that the "control of state power by Hindus is absolutely essential for sustenance of Dharma".
The BJP MP also wrote that Hindus "lost" the temple earlier because they had no power over the state. "When we regained, we rebuilt," he added.
His controversial tweet came soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi performed the bhoomi pujan or the ground breaking ceremony of the Ram temple in Ayodhya.
The tweet triggered a heated debate on the social media platform.
Reacting to the MP's comment, B T Venkatesh, a former public prosecutor of Karnataka High Court, told The Indian Express that "This is totally against the spirit of the Constitution. It is contrary to the ethos, values, and fundamental duties specified in the Constitution of India, let alone the oath he has taken as a Member of the Parliament."
Venkatesh added, "India is a secular country and each representative is duty-bound to uphold unity and integrity among the citizenry on the whole, not just 'Hindu dharma' as mentioned by the MP."
Prakash Belawadi, a prominent actor and activist criticised the MP for his tweet. He said, "This is dangerous identity politics. Bigotry in a private space is an ethical and social issue, and in a democracy, it's hard to resolve it with law. But this is a public representative talking in a public space. That is the problem."
Meanwhile, Leo Saldanha, a Bengaluru-based lawyer and activist, accused the MP of trying to "bring down" the sacredness of the Constitution.
"The Constitution of India was not created for anyone's personal interpretation. As an elected representative, Surya's job is to promote constitutional values and not his personal agenda which seems to be anti-constitutional," he said.
Saldanha further urged President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu to suspend the MP.
Hours later, Surya put out another tweet defining the 'Dharmic nationalism' and how the survival of India depends on the survival of Sanatana Dharma.
This is not the first time that the young MP from South Bengaluru has stirred a controversy. Early this year in April, a five-year-old tweet by him resurfaced on social media in which he quoted "objectionable" comments about Arab women. The tweet received massive flak from netizens.
Earlier, the MP had also described critics of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens as "puncture wallahs and illiterates".
Pointing to the Shaheen Bagh protest against CAA, he had said that Mughal raj would return if the "majority community" was not "vigilant".
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