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

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.

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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