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Politics Hate Speech

Police complaint filed against Paresh Rawal over ‘cook fish for Bengalis’ remark, he backs off, says he meant only “illegal Bangladeshis”

A police complaint was filed against actor-politician Paresh Rawal on Friday, December 2, for allegedly spreading "hate speech" with his “cook fish for Bengalis” remark during an election rally in Gujarat.

Sabrangindia 03 Dec 2022

Paresh Rawaal

West Bengal erupted in anger over actor-turned-Politician, Paresh Rawal's comments in his pitch to voters to vote for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Gujarat assembly election, where polling for the second phase will be held on Monday. Rawal later apologised for his slur, but the complaint was still filed reported Hindustan Times.

The actor, who emerged victorious from Ahmedabad East in the 2014 Lok Sabha election on a BJP ticket, had been seen in a widely circulated video asking people at a poll campaign before the 1st phase election in Gujarat to back the BJP for their security and not be influenced by other issues.

“Gas cylinders are expensive but they will come down. People will get employment too. But what will happen if Rohingya migrants and Bangladeshis start living around you, like in Delhi? What will you do with gas cylinders? Cook fish for the Bengalis?” Rawal said at the rally. (NDTV had translated the speech on December 2).

Quickly, within a day, he back-tracked, albeit with yet another stigmatising slur.

“Of course the fish is not the issue as Gujaratis do cook and eat fish. But let me clarify by Bengali I meant illegal Bangladeshi n Rohingya. But still if I have hurt your feelings and sentiments I do apologise,” he tweeted.

 

 

Many people from West Bengal found Rawal’s statement offensive, wondering what cooking fish had to do with the issue of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants. In the political circle, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) was the first to take offence over the remark.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Mohammed Salim said the party had lodged a police complaint against Rawal for allegedly spreading "hate speech" at the Gujarat rally.

“Such a speech on public domain has been made to provoke riots and destroy the harmony between Bengali community and other communities across the country and cause public mischief,” the complaint stated.

'Meant Illegal Bangladeshis, Rohingya': Paresh Rawal Says on 'Cook Fish for Bengalis' Remark

Taken aback by the backlash outside his home state, where slur-filled speeches have marked the 2022 election campaign, especially for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) the former BJP MP 'clarified' that he meant Rohingya and Bangladeshi people who are allegedly living "illegally" in the country.

Rawal’s comments earned him a fair share of criticism online after video clips of his speech at an election campaign rally in Gujarat’s Valsad began to be circulated. The rally in which Rawal made the comments took place on November 29. Valsad voters cast their vote yesterday.

The Rohingya are a persecuted group fleeing from Myanmar. They are mainly housed in refugee camps in various places across India, including Delhi. Gujarat ‘s vast and under-paid labour force, is also home to many migrant workers from across India and the subcontinent.

While the BJP government in Gujarat seeks re-election, inflation and unemployment are among the key issues it hopes to beat anti-incumbency in.

Paresh Rawal even went further. He seemed to say that either Rohingya and Bangladeshi people or Bengalis deliver verbal abuses and sought to deepen their differences with Gujarat’s people.

“Gujarat people can tolerate inflation but not this…The way they deliver verbal abuses. A person among them needs to wear diaper on his mouth,” Rawal also said. The very mention of “Rohingya and Bangladeshis” interchangeable with the invocation of “Bengalis” led to a sharp criticism of these comments.

While some sought to know if the former BJP MP meant to club Bengalis of India with foreign residents, others pointed out that irrespective of his intention his comments were xenophobic.

First, today, Rawal tweeted “the fish is not the issue” as Gujaratis do cook and eat fish. He then wrote that he meant foreigners who are allegedly living “illegally”.

“BUT LET ME CLARIFY BY BENGALI I MEANT ILLEGAL BANGLA DESHI N ROHINGYA. BUT STILL IF I HAVE HURT YOUR FEELINGS AND SENTIMENTS I DO APOLOGISE,” he wrote.

Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra tweeted claiming that Bengalis are known for their brains and have more Nobel laureates “than any other state.”

 

 

Related:

How Hate has laced the Gujarat 2022 Election Campaign

Police complaint filed against Paresh Rawal over ‘cook fish for Bengalis’ remark, he backs off, says he meant only “illegal Bangladeshis”

A police complaint was filed against actor-politician Paresh Rawal on Friday, December 2, for allegedly spreading "hate speech" with his “cook fish for Bengalis” remark during an election rally in Gujarat.

Paresh Rawaal

West Bengal erupted in anger over actor-turned-Politician, Paresh Rawal's comments in his pitch to voters to vote for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Gujarat assembly election, where polling for the second phase will be held on Monday. Rawal later apologised for his slur, but the complaint was still filed reported Hindustan Times.

The actor, who emerged victorious from Ahmedabad East in the 2014 Lok Sabha election on a BJP ticket, had been seen in a widely circulated video asking people at a poll campaign before the 1st phase election in Gujarat to back the BJP for their security and not be influenced by other issues.

“Gas cylinders are expensive but they will come down. People will get employment too. But what will happen if Rohingya migrants and Bangladeshis start living around you, like in Delhi? What will you do with gas cylinders? Cook fish for the Bengalis?” Rawal said at the rally. (NDTV had translated the speech on December 2).

Quickly, within a day, he back-tracked, albeit with yet another stigmatising slur.

“Of course the fish is not the issue as Gujaratis do cook and eat fish. But let me clarify by Bengali I meant illegal Bangladeshi n Rohingya. But still if I have hurt your feelings and sentiments I do apologise,” he tweeted.

 

 

Many people from West Bengal found Rawal’s statement offensive, wondering what cooking fish had to do with the issue of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants. In the political circle, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) was the first to take offence over the remark.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Mohammed Salim said the party had lodged a police complaint against Rawal for allegedly spreading "hate speech" at the Gujarat rally.

“Such a speech on public domain has been made to provoke riots and destroy the harmony between Bengali community and other communities across the country and cause public mischief,” the complaint stated.

'Meant Illegal Bangladeshis, Rohingya': Paresh Rawal Says on 'Cook Fish for Bengalis' Remark

Taken aback by the backlash outside his home state, where slur-filled speeches have marked the 2022 election campaign, especially for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) the former BJP MP 'clarified' that he meant Rohingya and Bangladeshi people who are allegedly living "illegally" in the country.

Rawal’s comments earned him a fair share of criticism online after video clips of his speech at an election campaign rally in Gujarat’s Valsad began to be circulated. The rally in which Rawal made the comments took place on November 29. Valsad voters cast their vote yesterday.

The Rohingya are a persecuted group fleeing from Myanmar. They are mainly housed in refugee camps in various places across India, including Delhi. Gujarat ‘s vast and under-paid labour force, is also home to many migrant workers from across India and the subcontinent.

While the BJP government in Gujarat seeks re-election, inflation and unemployment are among the key issues it hopes to beat anti-incumbency in.

Paresh Rawal even went further. He seemed to say that either Rohingya and Bangladeshi people or Bengalis deliver verbal abuses and sought to deepen their differences with Gujarat’s people.

“Gujarat people can tolerate inflation but not this…The way they deliver verbal abuses. A person among them needs to wear diaper on his mouth,” Rawal also said. The very mention of “Rohingya and Bangladeshis” interchangeable with the invocation of “Bengalis” led to a sharp criticism of these comments.

While some sought to know if the former BJP MP meant to club Bengalis of India with foreign residents, others pointed out that irrespective of his intention his comments were xenophobic.

First, today, Rawal tweeted “the fish is not the issue” as Gujaratis do cook and eat fish. He then wrote that he meant foreigners who are allegedly living “illegally”.

“BUT LET ME CLARIFY BY BENGALI I MEANT ILLEGAL BANGLA DESHI N ROHINGYA. BUT STILL IF I HAVE HURT YOUR FEELINGS AND SENTIMENTS I DO APOLOGISE,” he wrote.

Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra tweeted claiming that Bengalis are known for their brains and have more Nobel laureates “than any other state.”

 

 

Related:

How Hate has laced the Gujarat 2022 Election Campaign

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