Union Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh today kicked up a storm with his comments that the Centre cannot be blamed if somebody throws a stone at a dog to shield it from criticism for the Faridabad Dalit burning incident, prompting opposition demands for his ouster.
“For everything…like if somebody throws a stone at a dog, then the government is responsible…it is not like that,” Singh said in Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh, the constituency he represents in Parliament, while referring to the burning alive of a Dalit family in Haryana’s Faridabad which left two toddlers dead on the intervening night of October 19-20.
The comments of Singh drew sharp criticism from the opposition, including the Congress, which demanded his immediate sacking. “It is condemnable, it is shocking, it is inhumane to say the least. General V K Singh has insulted not only the entire Dalit community of this country but all Indians. It reflects the mindset of the Modi government which insults Dalits, which insults the minorities and looks down upon the people who are poor and downtrodden,” Congress spokesman Randeep Surjewala said in Delhi.He demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi sack him and tender an apology on Singh’s behalf. Surjewala said a criminal case should be registered against the minister under Prevention of Atrocities on Schedule Castes Act.
Senior Congress leader Manish Tewari described the dog analogy used by Singh as “preposterous and abominable”.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.