‘Constitution Is Supreme’: Hegde Apologises After Secularism Row

‘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.”

I deeply respect the Constitution, the Parliament and Baba Saheb Ambedkar. The Constitution is supreme for me, there can be no question on it, and as a citizen, I can never go against it.  
Anantkumar Hegde, BJP 
If someone was hurt by my comments, I tender an apology.

Also Read : How Has the Secularism Debate Shaped Under Modi Sarkar?

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".

I respect the Constitution, but the Constitution has changed according to the times on many occasions in the past, and it will change in the future. We are here to change the Constitution.  
Hegde’s earlier remarks

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.

Opposition parties are of the opinion that any minister who does not believe in the Constitution should have no place in the council of ministers. It is for the prime minister to take a call on him. 
Ghulam Nabi Azad, Congress

Also Read : From Gandhi to Vajpayee, A Lesson on Secularism for Minister Hegde

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.

Today, they will celebrate Tipu Jayanti, then Hyder Ali, then Afzal Guru, Ajmal Kasab and Bin Laden.
Anantkumar Hegde

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.

Also Read : Soon, Siddaramaiah Will Celebrate Kasab Jayanti: MoS Hegde

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