Narendra Modi a ‘Dalal’ or ‘Broker’ and ‘Commission Agent’ of the Ambanis’, not a ‘Chaukidar’ but ‘Bhagidar’: Sanjay Nirupam

In a hard-hitting, no holds barred, fearless  attack on PM Narendra Modi, Mumbai Congress President Sanjay Nirupam accused Modi of being a ‘dalal’ and ‘broker’or ‘commission agent’ for the Ambanis’, reports Marathi publication ‘Sakal‘.

He is not a ”Chaukidar‘ but ‘Bhagidar‘ (not watchman, but partner) and is getting a cut or commission from the Ambanis on all the deals that the NDA government has approved for the Reliance Group, said Nirupam, who was speaking at a protest rally organised by the Mumbai Congress from Fashion Street to Azad Maidan in South Mumbai against the corruption in the Rafale Fighter Jet deal.

Nirupam was accompanied by former MP Eknath Gaikwad, Bhalchandra Mungekar, Mumbai-North MLA Aslam Shaikh, Mumbai Mahila Congress President Ajanta Yadav and Congress office bearers and activists who participated in the rally, which was attended by nearly 1000 people.

Taking the battle right up to Modi’s doorstep, Nirupam said:

Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence which has bagged the Rafale deal, has never manufactured a nut or bolt of an aeroplane, forget a complete fighter aircraft and the NDA government led by Modi has given the entire contract to his “friend” Anil Ambani, whose company was registered only 10 days before the contract was signed.

Here is the online version of the Sakal article:

narendra-modi-anil-ambanis-dalal

With merely eight months left for the general elections, the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets – worth Rs 60,145 crore – is gradually becoming the biggest political thorn in the side of the Narendra Modi government, reports The Wire.

Days after Rahul Gandhi accused the Union government of hiding facts about the controversial fighter jet deal during the no-confidence motion in parliament, the Congress on Friday released a new set of documents to back up his claim that the Rafale purchase is one of the most blatant incidents of cronyism in independent India’s history.

Alleging multiple violations in the deal that could compromise India’s national security, the Congress said that both the prime minister and defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman “lied” to the nation in order to favour the Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Infrastructure Limited, reports The Wire.

The then defence minister Manohar Parrikar had gotten to know about the deal only a week before it was announced in a foreign land – a convention-defying act by the prime minister. Such deals have to compulsorily be approved by the cabinet committee on security but Modi unilaterally concluded the agreement.

Then, it became evident that the Modi government bought each plane at more than Rs 1,600 crore while the previous UPA government had negotiated the deal with Dassault at only Rs 526 crore, reports The Wire.

The controversy became worse when it emerged that a joint venture company between Reliance Defence Limited (RDL) – a subsidiary of the Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Infrastructure Limited (RIL) – and Dassault Aviation secured the offset deal at Rs 30,000 crore. This raised eyebrows as the public sector defence company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) had landed the offset contract in the deal that the UPA government had struck with the French aviation company, reports The Wire.

That RIL had no experience in manufacturing planes in contrast to HAL, whose sole occupation is manufacturing defence planes, ruffled many feathers last year. In addition, the clause which required Dassault to transfer its technology to HAL also found a quiet burial as the public sector company was denied its biggest ever offset contract, reports The Wire.

Although the offset contract given to the Dassault Reliance Aerospace Limited – a joint venture between RDL and Dassault – is worth Rs 30,000 crore, the Congress released RIL’s papers which claimed that “a consequent Lifecycle Cost Contract” of Rs 1 lakh crore was also awarded to it, states The Wire.

Christians are ‘Angrez’: Mumbai Christians move Bombay HC, ACMM court after BJP MP Gopal Shetty refuses to apologize and defends his words

IndiaScoops.com Bureau | Mumbai | 16 JULY 2018: Two Mumbai Catholics who had approached the Malwani Police Station in suburban Mumbai with a written complaint against Mumbai-North BJP MP Gopal Shetty after his provocative statements (Read Here) against the community at an Eid Milan program organised by the Shia Kabrastan committee at Malwani, have now approached the Bombay High Court and the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate’s (ACMM) court at Borivili.

Also Read: BJP MP Gopal Shetty abuses Christians using very vulgar language, says they are useless, good for nothing…

The incident which took place in the first week of July, led to a public outcry among the Christian and Catholic community in Mumbai which reverberated all over the country.

Gerard Lobo and Mavis Fernandes both residents of Orlem at Malad West today filed their pleas in the Bombay High Court and the ACMM’s court, through their lawyers, but refused to speak to the media on the issue. The duo received several abusive and crank calls in the past two weeks after they approached the police and had to even change their mobile numbers IndiaScoops.com has learnt.

“We will speak to the media, after our pleas are admitted by the respective courts and notices issued to the respondents. It is for the court to now verify our complaint and take cognizance,” Lobo told IndiaScoops.com

Also Read: In spite of uproar, Gopal Shetty still questions role of Christian community in Freedom Struggle, says is a debatable subject, refuses to apologize

IndiaScoops.com has learnt that the duo approached the courts after the Malwani police failed to take any action whatsoever  in spite of a huge public hue and cry. The Malwani police even refused to entertain the complainants and ill-treated them, it is learnt, under pressure from the BJP MP.

The Bombay High Court plea is a writ petition, while the ACCM court case is a criminal complaint or MECR under various provisions of the IPC, Lobo said.

A video clip of Shetty shot by a mobile phone had gone viral on Facebook and social media, with locals insisting that it was not a slip of the tongue, as Shetty later claimed (Read Here), but Shetty was deliberately and intentionally trying to create a rift between the Muslims and Christians in the area, and instigate the Muslims against the local Catholics who have been living in harmony with the Muslims for a very long time.

Also Read: Congress MLA Aslam Shaikh strongly condemns BJP MP Gopal Shetty’s attack on Christians

There is a sizable Catholic population in Malad with Malwani, Aksa, Madh and Gorai being home to thousands of East Indian Catholics who are the original inhabitants of the area, being farmers and fishermen. Many kolis from the fishing community in Madh, Aksa and Gorai are also Christians.

Also Read: Gopal Shetty’s resignation was a publicity stunt and diversive tactic, MP never put in his papers

Speaking to IndiaScoops.com Gerard Lobo and Mavis Fernandes both residents of Orlem at Malad West had said they sent a written complaint to the Malwani police station asking the police to take appropriate action against Shetty under sections 153A and 504 as well as other relevant sections of the IPC. They had also demanded to know if police permission was taken for the program where Shetty made the provocative statements.

Also Read: In Pics: Mumbai Congress, Mahila Congress protest rally on Friday, against Gopal Shetty’s comments

Lobo had told IndiaScoops.com that the Malwani police refused to accept the written complaint or give us an acknowledgement and asked for the CD with the recording of Shetty’s speech. “We have now sent the complaint along with the CD of Shetty’s speech, and are waiting for the police to act. The duty officer said the senior police inspector was busy and he would first discuss the matter with the Malwani Sr PI before accepting the complaint,” Lobo had then told IndiaScoops.com, alleging that the Malwani Police are unwilling to accept and act on their complaint.

Also Read: Gopal Shetty’s comment about Christians was pre-planned, pre-mediated and well-thought off, not made on the spur of the moment

The Bharat Citizens Action Forum (BCAF), a forum for the promotion of inter-religious harmony and justice, has sent a legal notice to Shetty – demanding an unconditional apology. In case he (Shetty) does not tender an unconditional apology, we will approach the appropriate court in this regard,” Firoz Khan, general secretary of the BCAF had told IndiaScoops.com.

Congress MLA Aslam Shaikh strongly condemned the verbal attack (Read Here) by BJP MP Gopal Shetty against Indian Christians.

Also Read: After drama, BJP MP Gopal Shetty withdraws his resignation, but refuses to withdraw his words, or apologize, Christians left fuming

The incident occurred after Shetty in a public speech had incorrectly claimed that Indian Christians did not contribute to the Freedom struggle and sided with the British.  When the gaffe was pointed out to him the next day and he was informed that the community is up in arms, with his speech video gone viral on Facebook, Shetty threw a fit. “Using vulgar and abusive language, he retorted: let them go screw themselves, ‘they (the Christian community) are anyway useless, and good for nothing,  they don’t vote for us (the BJP)’. This was revealed to IndiaScoops.com, the next day by a source who was present near Shetty when this happened.

Shetty later issued a clarification  (Read Here) stating that he was misquoted by the media and he didn’t intend to offend any community. His quotes were reported out of context, he said.  He however refused to apologise saying he had done nothing wrong and it was his personal opinion. Shetty has vehemently denied any wrong doing. After senior party leaders criticized his speech, he offered to resign but a few hours later did a U-TURN and claimed there was no need to resign for routine comments.

However, in a video clip doing the rounds on Facebook, Shetty is clearly heard saying that the Christian community did not contribute to the Freedom struggle in India.

His media statement came only as an afterthought, after Christians raised a hue and cry. He refused to take calls seeking clarifications about his statement which has been recorded on video. The media statement issued by Shetty sounds hollow and there is no tone of an apology, Gerard Lobo a prominent Catholic social worker from Malad opined.

This is not the first time, Shetty has been caught with his foot in his mouth. On two more occasions, he ended up shooting from the hip, leading to a local uproar in the area.

Around Feb 2018, Gopal Shetty was in the firing line when his ‘fashion to commit suicide‘ quote, concerning ‘farmers’ suicides went viral across the nation. Shetty had said, “All farmer suicides are not only because of hunger and unemployment. There is a fashion, a trend is on. If Maharashtra government is giving Rs 5 lakh, another government is giving Rs 7 lakh, Rs 8 lakh. There is a competition going on to give money to farmers,” he said at an event at Borivli.

Shetty’s remarks came at a time when the BJP-ruled Maharashtra was reeling under an agrarian crisis with 124 farmers committing suicide in the state and caused a major embarrassment to CM Devendra Fadnavis’ government.

Far-right fringe groups trying to get a foot-hold in Malwani: Was BJP MP Gopal Shetty’s ‘Christians are Angrez’ statement a premeditated plan to foment trouble?

By Anita Mendonca | Malwani | 7 July 2018:  With the Lok Sabha elections just a year away, several far-right fringe groups including the Dharam Jagaran Samanvay Samiti, Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Rashtriya Hindu Andolan, Rashtrawadi Shiv Sena, Shiv Sena Hindustan, Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, Hindu Dharma Sena, Hindu Makkal Katchi, Hindu Rashtra Sena, Sanathan Sanstha, Bajrang Dal, Durga Vahini, etc., are trying to gain a foot-hold in the sensitive area of Malwani, a part of the North-western suburb of Malad in suburban Mumbai, claim State police intelligence (SID) reports.

Also Read: BJP MP Gopal Shetty abuses Christians using very vulgar language, says they are useless, good for nothing…

The above groups including some unnamed covert extremist Hindu outfits are trying very hard to recruit members and set up a base for themselves in Malwani, using the general poverty and discontentment in the area as an excuse, as the locality battles a series of social problems including unemployment, lack of civic amenities, lack of local recreational activity, growing drug and alcohol abuse among youngsters, prostitution, bootlegging, theft, counterfeiting, etc.

The average population of Malwani falls in the lower income group and more than 50 per cent of the residents have a tough time making ends meet. There is also a huge BPL (below poverty line) concentration in the area, who depend on odd jobs to earn their daily bread and dal-roti.

Also Read: Gopal Shetty’s resignation was a publicity stunt and diversive tactic, MP never put in his papers

A ghetto with a significant Muslim population, Malwani had hit the headlines a few years ago when four local Muslim boys had left to join the terrorist outfit Islamic State (IS). Of them, two returned home, one is in the National Investigation Agency (NIA) custody, while one is untraceable, states a Times of India report, dated 12th March 2017. There are many Christians and Catholics – most of them East Indians who pride themselves on being called the original inhabitants of Mumbai.

Also Read: Gopal Shetty’s comment about Christians was pre-planned, pre-mediated and well-thought off, not made on the spur of the moment

For now, Hindus, Muslims and Christians including a huge population of scheduled castes and Dalits, live in harmony in Malwani, thanks to the efforts of the local MLA Aslam Shaikh and his team, but a small communal spark can be very dangerous in the area.

Also Read: Congress MLA Aslam Shaikh, Mumbai Congress strongly condemn BJP MP Gopal Shetty’s attack on Christians

Apart from facing threats of radicalization, Malwani also battles drug menace, claims the above TOI report. With unemployment on the rise, there is a significant increase in the number of drugs addicts and peddlers alike. This is a hotbed for trouble and even a small spark can ignite a huge fire which can turn into a communal inferno, says social worker Gerard Lobo, a resident of Orlem and a member of the Bharat Citizens Action Forum (BCAF) active in the area.

Also Read: After drama, BJP MP Gopal Shetty withdraws his resignation, but refuses to withdraw his words, or apologize, Christians left fuming

A sizeable population in Malwani lives in slums and shanties and overcrowding and lack of civic amenities is one of the major shortfalls in the area.  State intelligence officials who track Malwani are worried about both extremist Hindu and Muslim groups trying to create tension in the area and Malwani police station is manned by an additional force to handle such problems.

Congress MLA Aslam Shaikh has been trying very hard for the last few years, to provide local employment for the Malwani youth and keep them occupied to ensure that they don’t get influenced and picked up by  radical elements.

Also Read: In Pics: Mumbai Congress, Mahila Congress protest rally on Friday, against Gopal Shetty’s comments

The statements of BJP MP Gopal Shetty made in such a politically and communally sensitive area assume significance. Was there a larger plan at work. Sources say, Shetty was trying to set off a small spark that would burn unnoticed, only to create an explosion later on, maybe months later. Was Shetty trying to instigate the Muslims against the Christians in the area? Or was he trying to send a subtle message or hint to the extremist Hindu groups trying to set up shop in Malwani? Shetty it seems, has a personal grouse with some aggressive Christian social welfare groups in the area, which Shetty and his ilk including the Bajrang Dal, RSS and VHP think are indulging in conversion in a very subtle manner. There are several Christian social welfare groups active in Malwani, Madh, Aksa, Gorai and Charkop, which have long been a thorn in Shetty’s side. He has been nursing a grudge against such activity, but is unable to do much as long as all the communities stand united.

Also Read: Gopal Shetty still questions role of Christian community in Freedom Struggle, says is a debatable subject, refuses to apologize

Intelligence sources claim that Shetty’s statement no matter how  seemingly innocent or innocuous, must be investigated with a high-powered magnifying glass, given the location in which it was made.  Asaduddin Owaisi‘s All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) party is trying very hard to ween away Muslims from their traditional Congress fold and plans to field MP as well as MLA candidates from the area. Could it be a secret pact between the AIMIM and the BJP to destabilize the Congress in the area? The timing of the statement also assumes importance, as the BJP gets on the defensive, from an earlier position of strength two years ago. The BJPs local political partner the Shiv Sena is also making inroads in the area and the party could be feeling threatened politically.

Also Read: Mumbai Christians file Police Complaint against Gopal Shetty for derogatory language against community, demand unconditional apology 

For now the plan if there was one, does not seem to have succeeded. But Gopal Shetty’s arrogance and ego – he refused to apologize and still claims he said nothing wrong or incorrect – could be a big hindrance in communal harmony in Malwani. Residents of Malwani must be vigilant against such communal forces that will try very hard to disturb the peace in the area in the coming months.

BJP leader Gopal Shetty’s resignation was a publicity stunt and diversive tactic, MP never put in his papers at all!

When BJP MP from the Mumbai North constituency Gopal Shetty was caught with his foot in his mouth, after calling Christians ‘angrez’ who never participated in the Freedom Struggle and sided with the British, a national media uproar took the wind out of Shetty’s sails.

Also Read: BJP MP Gopal Shetty abuses Christians using very vulgar language, says they are useless, good for nothing…

However fueled by his ego and arrogance, Shetty did not apologize to the Christian community claiming that ‘it was his personal opinion or viewpoint and the role of Christians was anyway debatable’ and he was ready to resign as his ‘freedom of expression was more important to him, than any post or position in the party’.

Also Read: Gopal Shetty still questions role of Christian community in Freedom Struggle, says is a debatable subject, refuses to apologize

Shetty’s offer to resign was the oldest trick in the politicians’ guidebook. The media diverted its attention from the core issue to Shetty’s resignation. However, Shetty did just the opposite. Besides, speaking to news agency ANI and one or two others, after Shetty’s resignation news went viral, he sat tight and refused to take further calls from the media.

Also Read: Gopal Shetty’s comment about Christians was pre-planned, pre-mediated and well-thought off, not made on the spur of the moment

He had not put in his papers till late in the night on Friday, with sources saying that the party leadership has asked him to reconsider his decision. Shetty had no intention to resign at all. He only diverted media glare from the main issue which was insulting the Christian community.

MP Gopal Shetty, who is facing flak for raising questions about participation of the Christian community in India’s freedom struggle, on Friday offered to tender his resignation to state party president Raosaheb Danve. But he had not put in his papers till late in the night, reports Mumbai Mirror.

Also Read: Mumbai Christians file Police Complaint against Gopal Shetty for derogatory language against community, demand unconditional apology 

Hours after Mirror reported that the senior BJP leader has embarrassed his party by claiming that Indian Christians had no role to play in the freedom movement, Shetty told reporters, “My statement was taken out of context. If I don’t have the freedom to express my thoughts, then I don’t want to put my party in an embarrassing situation. Therefore, I have offered to resign.”

Shetty had made the statement while addressing a gathering during the Eid-E-Milad organised by the Shia Kabrastan Committee at Malvani in Malad on Sunday. A video of his speech has since gone viral.

Also Read: Congress MLA Aslam Shaikh, Mumbai Congress strongly condemn BJP MP Gopal Shetty’s attack on Christians

On Friday, the Congress, AAP and other political parties, social activists and Christian organisations demanded an unconditional apology from the MP.

AAP’s Maharashtra unit even filed a complaint against Shetty with the state minority commission. Abrham Mathai, president of Indian Christian Voice and former vice-chairman of minority commission, also took umbrage at Shetty for failing to appreciate the Indian Christians’ role during the freedom struggle, reports Mumbai Mirror.

Also Read: After drama, BJP MP Gopal Shetty withdraws his resignation, but refuses to withdraw his words, or apologize, Christians left fuming

“During the freedom struggle, despite their small population, Indian Christians rose to the occasion to demand ‘swaraj’ for our country. Shetty is totally ignorant of history and seems to be deliberately distorting proven historical facts to suit his agenda,” Mathai said.

In a terse response to Shetty’s remarks, Shaila Baptista, great grandniece of Joseph Kaka Baptista, who was a close associate of Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, told Mirror that politicians should be made accountable for making such frivolous statements.

Also Read: In Pics: Mumbai Congress, Mahila Congress protest rally on Friday, against Gopal Shetty’s comments

“Over the past few years, an atmosphere of animosity and hatred is being created against minorities. We feel we are unwanted in our own country,” said Shaila, who lives with her family in Navi Mumbai.

Shetty issued another statement on Saturday to defend himself and his statements:

gopal-shetty-christians-angrez-statement

with inputs from Mumbai Mirror

BJP MP Gopal Shetty’s comment about Christians was pre-planned, pre-mediated and well-thought off, not made on the spur of the moment

Mumbai: History has never been BJP’s strong domain and more so when it involves the minority community of the country. Which is why it was not surprising when the party’s member of parliament Gopal Shetty in a meeting, ironically at a gathering during the Eid-e-Milad arranged in north Mumbai, called the Christian community “angrez” (British) and claimed they did not have a role to play in India’s freedom struggle, says The Wire.

In a video which was shot on June 1 at a gathering during the event organised by the Shia Kabrastan Committee at Malvani in Malad, Shetty is seen addressing the public and calling the Christian community British. He further goes on to say that Muslims and Hindus played a substantial role in the pre- independence struggle and that Christians did not participate in it.

Also Read: BJP MP Gopal Shetty abuses Christians using very vulgar language, says they are useless, good for nothing…

While Shetty has tried to claim that his speech has been taken out of context, many from the Christian community feel such “loose” and “baseless” statements are made only to vitiate the atmosphere, reports The Wire.

Dolphy D’Souza, a former president of the Bombay Catholic Sabha told The Wire that such baseless statements are never made in the spur of the moment. “They are well thought [out] and planned exactly to vitiate the atmosphere. This has been a common thing in the present regime,” D’Souza said.

Also Read: Gopal Shetty still questions role of Christian community in Freedom Struggle, says is a debatable subject, refuses to apologize

He further pointed at the place where this statement was made. “He (Shetty) goes to a Muslim gathering and speaks of another minority community there. It is never done innocently. BJP does these things to gauge the situation and see what controversy can be raked in the name of the minorities and cause communal polarisation,” he added. D’Souza also reminded that the history of the Christian community is at least 2,000-years-old in the subcontinent.

Also Read: After drama, BJP MP Gopal Shetty withdraws his resignation, but refuses to withdraw his words, or apologize, Christians left fuming

Instead of taking his statements back, Shetty today went ahead standing by his statements and further added while he did not call the community “angrez”, he did believe that the community had barely any contribution to make in the struggle for freedom. “I have been misquoted. I have the video on me and I have not said anything about Christians being angrez. All I spoke was that since the British were Christians too, not many Christians participated in the freedom struggle,” Shetty told the media.

Also Read: In Pics: Mumbai Congress, Mahila Congress protest rally on Friday, against Gopal Shetty’s comments

Shetty’s party has not supported him in the statement and BJP Bombay president and MLA from Bandra West Ashish Shelar said that Shetty was asked to withdraw the statement. However, he also defended Shetty and said that the leader did not mean what he said.

Father Nigel Barrett, spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Bombay, wants Shetty to take some history lessons before making such unsubstantiated statements. Speaking to The Wire, Father Barrett said that the best person to recall at the time of such irresponsible statements would be Joseph “Kaka” Baptista, an Indian politician who is believed to have written the famous phrase “Swaraj is my birth right and I shall have it”, which was later used by Bal Gangadhar Tilak at several occasions both in English and Marathi.

“Kaka Baptista was one of the crucial persons in the pre-independence struggles. If the minister were to start taking lessons in history, I would say he should start with him. There are several such leaders who actively played a role across India,” Father Barrett told The Wire.

Also Read: Congress MLA Aslam Shaikh, Mumbai Congress strongly condemn BJP MP Gopal Shetty’s attack on Christians

The statement has ruffled a few feathers and several people from the community have organised protests outside Shetty’s residence in Mumbai asking him to withdraw the statement. Two residents of Orlem in Malad (which has a sizeable Christian population), Gerad Lobo and Mavis Fernandes, have submitted a complaint against Shetty at the local police station. The two have demanded that a criminal case be registered against Shetty under the Indian Penal Code sections 153(a) for promoting enmity between communities and 504 for breach of peace. The police are yet to decide on the complaint.

Meanwhile, local Congress leaders have sought Shetty’s resignation and have called his statement “irresponsible” and “abusive”. “Shetty has a history of inappropriate remarks,” said Mumbai Congress leader Bhushan Patil told The Wire.

Also Read: Mumbai Christians file Police Complaint against Gopal Shetty for derogatory language against community, demand unconditional apology 

Two years ago, Shetty had stirred trouble for his party by describing farmer suicides as “fashion”. He had claimed that all suicides do not happen because of unemployment or hunger. “It has become fashion these days. If the Maharashtra government is giving Rs 5 lakh as compensation, the other state gives Rs 7 lakh and the next Rs 8 lakh. There is competition in giving compensation to farmers,” he had said.

In another instance, Shetty had introduced a private member’s Bill in the Lok Sabha seeking to raise the age of marriage for women from 18 to 21 if she is marrying without her parent’s consent. His rationale was that young boys and girls fall in love at 15 and 16 and get married as soon as they turn 18. This, according to him, was a “social menace”.

Source: The Wire

BJP MP Gopal Shetty withdraws his resignation, but will not withdraw statements against Christian community or apologize?

BJP parliamentarian from Maharashtra, Mumbai North constituency, Gopal Shetty on Friday withdrew his resignation by evening, after stoking a major national controversy with his comment that “Christians are angrez and hence did not contribute to the freedom struggle”.

He made the controversial remark by addressing a gathering for the Eid-e-Milad organised by the Shia Kabrastan Committee in Mumbai on Sunday.

“India was not freed by Hindus…India was not freed by Muslims, we fought as one for our independence. Christians were angrez (British), so they didn’t participate in India’s freedom struggle,” he can be heard as saying in a video.

Also Read: BJP MP Gopal Shetty abuses Christians using very vulgar language, says they are useless, good for nothing…

The Congress was soon to reply on the comments and demanded Mr Shetty’s resignation, calling him a repeat offender. “Shetty has a history of inappropriate remarks,” said Mumbai Congress leader Bhushan Patil.

Shetty, an MP representing Mumbai North in parliament, however, denied the criticisms, saying that his words were wrongly interpreted. He further said that he has not said anything which could subject him to an apology.

Also Read: In Pics: Mumbai Congress, Mahila Congress protest rally on Friday, against Gopal Shetty’s comments

Sharply criticizing Shetty, Maharashtra Congress President Ashok Chavan said: “It reflects despicably communal mindset of the BJP. Freedom struggle is the epitome of sacrifices made by all communities including Christians. Shetty must know that only RSS was in support of the British.”

Condemning the “anti-minority remarks”, Mumbai Congress President Sanjay Nirupam demanded that Shetty must tender “an apology to the entire Christian community of India as he has no knowledge of history or the contribution of the Christians in the independence movement”.

Also Read: Congress MLA Aslam Shaikh, Mumbai Congress strongly condemn BJP MP Gopal Shetty’s attack on Christians

On Friday, All India Mahila Congress General Secretary Janet Desouza and Mumbai Mahila Congress President Ajanta Yadav held a protest outside Shetty’s office in Borivali West.

Two Christian residents from Orlem in Malad – Mavis Fernandes and Gerard Lobo – submitted a written complaint against Shetty to police in Malvani, demanding action against the MP for promoting enmity between communities.

Malvani Congress legislator Aslam Shaikh pointed out that though small in numbers, the Christian community contributed significantly to the freedom struggle and also in nation building.

Also Read: Mumbai Christians file Police Complaint against Gopal Shetty for derogatory language against community, demand unconditional apology 

As the issue snowballed, Shetty on Thursday appeared to backtrack and said it was “a miscommunication and misinterpretation”, adding that people from every religion contributed to the freedom struggle.

Going further on the defensive on Friday, Shetty said “he was a responsible person with a long political career behind him and would never think embarrassing the BJP top leadership”, hinting at submitting his resignation.

However, on Friday, BJP state spokesperson Madhav Bhandari told the media that the party’s top leaders and state BJP President Raosaheb Patil-Danve have spoken with Shetty and the party stood by him.

Also Read: Gopal Shetty still questions role of Christian community in Freedom Struggle, says is a debatable subject, refuses to apologize

Agitated members of the Christian community flooded the social media with names of prominent persons who had taken an active part in the freedom struggle, stood with leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and made many sacrifices on the personal and family fronts.

They included Thevarthundiyil Titus and his wife Annamma, Accamma Cherian whom Gandhi called the ‘Jhansi ki Rani of Travancore’, Christian missionaries like Stanley Jones, C.F. Andrews, J.C. Wilson, Ernest Forrester-Paton, Ralph R. Keitahn, Varrier Elwin, John J. Cornelius, J.C. Kumarappa, Paul Ramaswamy, T.M. Verghese, A.J. John, Anne Mascarenhas, Joachim Alva and many more.

Also Read: Gopal Shetty’s comment about Christians was pre-planned, pre-mediated and well-thought off, not made on the spur of the moment

Earlier in the day, reports were going rounds that Shetty had submitted his resignation to BJP chief Amit Shah.

This is not the first time that Gopal Shetty has run into major trouble. Two years ago, Shetty had stirred widespread criticism by describing farmer suicides as “fashion”.

He had said: “All suicides do not happen because of unemployment or hunger. It has become fashion these days. If the Maharashtra Government is giving Rs. 5 lakh as compensation, the other state gives 7 and the next 8 lakh. There is competition in giving compensation to farmers.”

Source: India Tv

PICS: Mumbai Congress protests against BJP MP Gopal Shetty’s remarks against Christians, but unrepentant Shetty refuses to budge or apologize

A video clip of BJP MP Gopal Shetty shot by a mobile phone has gone viral on Facebook and social media, with locals insisting that it was not a slip of the tongue, as Shetty claimed (Read Here), but insisted that Shetty was deliberately and intentionally trying to create a rift between the Muslims and Christians in the area, and instigate the Muslims against the local Catholics (Read Here) who have been living in harmony with the Muslims for a very long time.

Also Read: BJP MP Gopal Shetty abuses Christians using very vulgar language, says they are useless, good for nothing…

The Mumbai Congress and the Mumbai Mahila Congress organised a protest rally on Friday afternoon, culminating at Gopal Shetty’s office. Here are images from the rally, which was escorted by a strong police force.

mumbai-mahila-congress-protests-against-gopal-shettys-remarks-against-christians (1)
Mumbai Congress, Mumbai Mahila Congress workers protest against BJP MP Gopal Shetty’s remarks against Christians

Also Read: After drama, BJP MP Gopal Shetty withdraws his resignation, but refuses to withdraw his words, or apologize, Christians left fuming

mumbai-mahila-congress-protests-against-gopal-shettys-remarks-against-christians (2)
Mumbai Congress, Mumbai Mahila Congress workers protest against BJP MP Gopal Shetty’s remarks against Christians

Also Read: Gopal Shetty still questions role of Christian community in Freedom Struggle, says is a debatable subject, refuses to apologize

mumbai-mahila-congress-protests-against-gopal-shettys-remarks-against-christians (3)
Mumbai Congress, Mumbai Mahila Congress workers protest against BJP MP Gopal Shetty’s remarks against Christians

Also Read: Gopal Shetty’s comment about Christians was pre-planned, pre-mediated and well-thought off, not made on the spur of the moment

mumbai-mahila-congress-protests-against-gopal-shettys-remarks-against-christians (4)
Mumbai Congress, Mumbai Mahila Congress workers protest against BJP MP Gopal Shetty’s remarks against Christians

Also Read: Mumbai Christians file Police Complaint against Gopal Shetty for derogatory language against community, demand unconditional apology 

mumbai-mahila-congress-protests-against-gopal-shettys-remarks-against-christians (5)
Mumbai Congress, Mumbai Mahila Congress workers protest against BJP MP Gopal Shetty’s remarks against Christians

Also Read: Congress MLA Aslam Shaikh, Mumbai Congress strongly condemn BJP MP Gopal Shetty’s attack on Christians

mumbai-mahila-congress-protests-against-gopal-shettys-remarks-against-christians (6)
Mumbai Congress, Mumbai Mahila Congress workers protest against BJP MP Gopal Shetty’s remarks against Christians
mumbai-mahila-congress-protests-against-gopal-shettys-remarks-against-christians (7)
Mumbai Congress, Mumbai Mahila Congress workers protest against BJP MP Gopal Shetty’s remarks against Christians

In spite of a national uproar, BJP MP Gopal Shetty still questions the role of Christians in the Indian Freedom Struggle, says it’s a debatable topic and refuses to apologize or withdraw earlier statements

IndiaScoops.com Bureau | Mumbai, Jul 6: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Gopal Shetty who is known for his controversial remarks in the past, tendered his resignation on Friday after he stirred a controversy calling Christians ‘angrez’ who have not contributed to the freedom struggle. The incident occurred on Sunday July 1 at Malwani in suburban Mumbai.

The MP from Mumbai North Gopal Shetty is heard saying in a video clip, which has gone viral: “Christians were British; hence they didn’t participate in the freedom movement. India was not freed by Hindus or Muslims, we fought as one, as Hindustanis for our independence.”

Also Read: BJP MP Gopal Shetty abuses Christians using very vulgar language, says they are useless, good for nothing…

Shetty defended his statements, and at first said he was misinterpreted. On Tuesday and Wednesday, as the news broke out in the local media, Shetty initially tried to say he was misquoted and misrepresented and his comments were twisted or reported out of context. Possibly Shetty and his advisers did not themselves understand or realize the meaning and magnitude of his statements. Or it was a subtle and clever trick, with Shetty trying to appease one community in the sensitive Malwani area.

Also Read: After drama, BJP MP Gopal Shetty withdraws his resignation, but refuses to withdraw his words, or apologize, Christians left fuming

But as his recorded speech video clip went viral nationally on Friday and mainline Tv news channels began playing the video clip, Shetty did a U-turn. His party bosses did not bat for him and a dejected Shetty came to understand what he said and what was being interrupted. He then claimed he had not said something that required him to apologize. He told media that the fact is that people from every religion contributed for Indian freedom. However, he expressed unhappiness that his party did not stand by him.

Also Read: Congress MLA Aslam Shaikh, Mumbai Congress strongly condemn BJP MP Gopal Shetty’s attack on Christians

Amidst rising national outrage, Shetty said he stood by his comments. “I just said Catholics may not be in freedom struggle because it was the British rule.” “I have my freedom of expression and this statement can be debated if needed. I have offered my resignation from MP post to Maharashtra BJP president and now it is up to the party. I do not want to embarrass my party,” added Shetty. 

Catholics in Mumbai who have a sizable presence  in various sectors in the city, including Education, IT services, Banking & Finance and Media have not taken kindly to Shetty’s utterances. “We are Indians first and foremost. Shetty called us ‘Angrez’ or British in a derogatory way. He said since we were British, we did not participate in the Freedom Struggle. Doesn’t he understand what he was saying. Either he is playing dumb or trying to be very clever. All he had to do is say sorry, but he has refused to apologize. In spite of a national uproar and condemnation from his own party colleagues, he has added fuel to fire, by stating that the Christian contribution to the Freedom Struggle is a debatable topic. We are clear about our demands -we want an unconditional apology, or else we will take this matter to it’s legal conclusion. Shetty as an MP is expected to be a very responsible man. His constituency which comprises of Malad, Orlem, Borivili, Poisar, etc., has a sizable well-educated Christian population and the community’s contribution to the education sector is clearly evident by the several Church and convent schools in Shetty’s constituency,” said Gerard Lobo, who first submitted a written complaint to the Malwani Police Station.

Also Read: Mumbai Christians file Police Complaint against Gopal Shetty for derogatory language against community, demand unconditional apology 

Shetty had made the controversial statement while addressing a gathering during the Eid-E-Milad program organised by the Shia Kabrastan Committee at Malvani in Malad in Mumbai on Sunday, July 1.

The Mumbai Congress hit back at the MP on Wednesday. “It’s clear BJP MP is not aware of history, or is purposely trying to create discord among members of one community with such communally sensitive utterances,” the Mumbai Congress tweeted.

Also Read: In Pics: Mumbai Congress, Mahila Congress protest rally on Friday, against Gopal Shetty’s comments

The Telangana Congress also took a dig at the BJP. “Official written orders were passed by the heads of RSS & Hindu Mahasabha asking their cadre not to participate in Indian Freedom Struggle & this is “BJP” History !!” the INC Telangana tweeted.

Mumbai BJP President and MLA from Bandra West Ashish Shelar told media that BJP does not support such statements and supports the Christian community. “Though the MP did not mean what he said, he has been asked to withdraw the statement,” Shelar added.

Two years ago, Shetty had stirred trouble for his party by describing farmer suicides as a “fashion”.

Mumbai Christians file Police Complaint against BJP MP Gopal Shetty for using derogatory words against community: to approach courts if Shetty does not tender unconditional apology 

INDIASCOOPS.COM BUREAU | MUMBAI | 5 JULY 2018: Two Mumbai Catholics have filed a police complaint against Mumbai-North BJP MP Gopal Shetty after his provocative statements (Read Here) on Sunday evening at an Eid Milan program organised by the Shia Kabrastan committee at Malwani, led to a public outcry among the Christian and Catholic community in Mumbai.

A video clip of Shetty shot by a mobile phone has gone viral on Facebook and social media, with locals insisting that it was not a slip of the tongue, as Shetty later claimed (Read Here), but instead Shetty was deliberately and intentionally trying to create a rift between the Muslims and Christians in the area, and instigate the Muslims against the local Catholics who have been living in harmony with the Muslims for a very long time.

Also Read: Congress MLA Aslam Shaikh strongly condemns BJP MP Gopal Shetty’s attack on Christians

There is a sizable Catholic population in Malad with Malwani, Aksa, Madh and Gorai being home to thousands of East Indian Catholics who are the original inhabitants of the area, being farmers and fishermen. Many kolis from the fishing community in Madh, Aksa and Gorai are also Christians.

Speaking to IndiaScoops.com Gerard Lobo and Mavis Fernandes both residents of Orlem at Malad West said they have sent a written complaint to the Malwani police station asking the police to take appropriate action against Shetty under sections 153A and 504 as well as other relevant sections of the IPC. They have also demanded to know if police permission was taken for the program where Shetty made the provocative statements.

Also Read: In Pics: Mumbai Congress, Mahila Congress protest rally on Friday, against Gopal Shetty’s comments

Lobo told IndiaScoops.com that the Malwani police refused to accept the written complaint or give us an acknowledgement and asked for the CD with the recording of Shetty’s speech. “We have now sent the complaint along with the CD of Shetty’s speech, and are waiting for the police to act. The duty officer said the senior police inspector was busy and he would first discuss the matter with the Malwani Sr PI before accepting the complaint,” Lobo told IndiaScoops.com, alleging that the Malwani Police are unwilling to accept and act on their complaint.

Also Read: BJP MP Gopal Shetty abuses Christians using very vulgar language, says they are useless, good for nothing…

The Bharat Citizens Action Forum (BCAF), a forum for the promotion of inter-religious harmony and justice, said they have sent a legal notice to Shetty – who is currently in Delhi for the Parliament session, demanding an unconditional apology. In case he (Shetty) does not tender an unconditional apology within two days, we will approach the appropriate court in this regard,” Firoz Khan, general secretary of the BCAF told IndiaScoops.com today.

Congress MLA Aslam Shaikh on Wednesday strongly condemned the verbal attack (Read Here) by BJP MP Gopal Shetty against Indian Christians.

Also Read: In spite of uproar, Gopal Shetty still questions role of Christian community in Freedom Struggle, says is a debatable subject, refuses to apologize

The incident occurred after Shetty in a public speech on Sunday had incorrectly claimed that Indian Christians did not contribute to the Freedom struggle and sided with the British.  When the gaffe was pointed out to him the next day, and he was informed that the community is up in arms, with his speech video gone viral on Facebook, Shetty threw a fit. “Using vulgar and abusive language, he retorted: let them go screw themselves, ‘they (the Christian community) are anyway useless, and good for nothing,  they don’t vote for us (the BJP)’. This was revealed to IndiaScoops.com, by a source who was present near Shetty when this happened.

On, Wednesday evening, Shetty issued a clarification  (Read Here) stating that he was misquoted by the media and he didn’t intend to offend any community. His quotes were reported out of context, he said.  However, in a video clip doing the rounds on Facebook, Shetty is clearly heard saying that the Christian community did not contribute to the Freedom struggle in India.

His media statement came only as an afterthought, after Christians raised a hue and cry. He refused to take calls seeking clarifications about his statement which has been recorded on video. The media statement issued by Shetty sounds hollow and there is no tone of an apology, Gerard Lobo a prominent Catholic social worker from Malad opined.

This is not the first time, Shetty has been caught with his foot in his mouth. On two more occasions, he ended up shooting from the hip, leading to a local uproar in the area.

Around Feb 2018, Gopal Shetty was in the firing line when his ‘fashion to commit suicide‘ quote, concerning ‘farmers’ suicides went viral across the nation. Shetty had said, “All farmer suicides are not only because of hunger and unemployment. There is a fashion, a trend is on. If Maharashtra government is giving Rs 5 lakh, another government is giving Rs 7 lakh, Rs 8 lakh. There is a competition going on to give money to farmers,” he said at an event at Borivli.

Shetty’s remarks came at a time when the BJP-ruled Maharashtra was reeling under an agrarian crisis with 124 farmers committing suicide in the state and caused a major embarrassment to CM Devendra Fadnavis’ government.

Editor’s Note: This is a developing story. This post will be updated as additional inputs come in. You can send us your feedback on indiascoops AT gmail.com

Congress MLA Aslam Shaikh strongly condemns BJP MP Gopal Shetty’s attack on Christians, Shetty issues an apology and clarification, after Christians threaten legal action

Congress MLA Aslam Shaikh on Wednesday strongly condemned the verbal attack (Read Here) by BJP MP Gopal Shetty against Indian Christians.

Shaikh who is known to be loved by people of all communities and religions, in his constituency Malad, said he was equally shocked when told about Shetty’s comments against the Christian community.

In a strongly worded statement released to the media, MLA Aslam Shaikh said, “Though the Christian community is small in number its contribution to nation-building through its numerous social, theological, academic and educational institutions has been immense. The institutions of the Church ushered in modernity in India. The institutions of the Church were so organised that they did succeed where others had failed in modernizing those who studied in them. The central contribution of Christians was not so much to make converts to religion but instead converts to modernity. The community surely has its role in the creation of “true ‘modern’ Indians”, the builders of the new India with an outlook of rationality and humanism.”

“Besides serving the country in various capacities and services — armed forces and civil services, education and police, science and administration, sports and medicine, social service and politics, there is no field where Christians have not made their presence felt. The community has been actively involved in several grassroots movements, civil society and non-governmental organisations. Nobody can accuse the Church in India of being a foreign entity. No doubt foreign grants and aid has been received by groups in the Church to serve the poor constructively and to empower marginalised communities, but that social service aspect of the Church in India needs to be appreciated, than found fault with.”

While prior to independence most of the Christian social initiatives were pioneered by foreign missionaries, Indian Christians have carried on and even multiplied the legacy handed down to them after independence.

Thus patriotism continues to be a Christian virtue. The Indian Christians have in the past identified themselves with the Indian national movement and demonstrated their deepest concern for the cause. In fact, they were among the prominent persons who pioneered and shaped the goals of Indian nationalism. After independence the community has been equally active in educating the young with the ideas of secularism, universalism and egalitarianism.

Those who oppose the Church in India are primarily those who are opposed to the idea of India, of the framers of the Constitution. While the egalitarian ideas of Christianity are in consonance with the Constitution of India, they are not in harmony with the values of India’s Hindu caste-order.

The Church has contributed indirectly in producing elites and the ordinary who have challenged the domination of the dominant castes in social and political system. It is precisely because of this legacy that the community has been under attack by the forces of feudalism and tradition,” MLA Aslam Shaikh said.

On, Wednesday evening, Shetty issued a clarification stating that he was misquoted by the media and he didn’t intend to offend any community. His quotes were reported out of context, he said. 

However, in a video clip doing the rounds on Facebook, Shetty is clearly heard saying that the Christian community did not contribute to the Freedom struggle in India. His words are clear and audible and there is no doubt about what he said. 

His clarification came only as an afterthought, after Christians raised a hue and cry on social media. Shetty refused to answer questions seeking answers to his statement which has been recorded on video. The media statement issued by him sounds hollow and there is no tone of an apology, a prominent Catholic social worker from Malad opined.

Shetty refused to take calls from this reporter. Published below is Gopal Shetty’s written clarification:

gopal-shetty-clarification