‘Constitution Is Supreme’: Hegde Apologises After Secularism Row
Union Minister of Skill Development Anantkumar Hegde apologised on Thursday for his earlier remarks, mocking secularism and describing secular people as "those who do not have an identity of their parental blood.” His comments drew strong criticism from the Congress, which led to disruptions in both houses of Parliament on 27 December.
Hegde apologised for his earlier remarks, which suggested removal of the word ‘secular’ from the Indian Constitution, saying “the Parliament and the Constitution are supreme to me.”
The row started after Hegde, in a speech on 24 December, urged people to identify themselves by their religion and caste rather than promote secularism, and alleged that the Constitution "will be changed in the days to come".
The opposition parties took strong objection to the BJP MP's remarks and said such a person should have no place in the council of ministers. Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad demanded on Wednesday that Hegde should either apologise or be sacked by PM Narendra Modi.
Hegde’s History of Hate Comments
In a speech on 13 November in the Parivartana Yatra in Kundapur, Karnataka, the BJP leader had sarcastically suggested that the Congress government will soon start celebrating terrorists like Ajmal Kasab and Osama Bin Laden.
In 2016, Hegde had reportedly told mediapersons that there will be terrorism in the world as long as Islam exists. “Until we eradicate Islam from the world, we will not be able to eliminate terrorism from the world. Islam is a bomb placed to disrupt world peace. As long as there is Islam, there will be no peace in the world,” he was quoted as saying.