NEW DELHI: Under attack from rivals over the ‘puppy’ analogy, Gujarat chief minister Modi on Friday said all forms of life are valued and worshipped in Indian culture, in an apparent bid to assuage feelings.
“In our culture, every form of life is valued and worshipped,” Modi said on Twitter, hours after his remarks that one would feel sad even if a puppy comes under one’s vehicle kicked up a storm. “People are the best judge,” he tweeted.
Modi, in an interview to the Reuters new agency had said, “Another thing, any person if we are driving a car, we are a driver, and someone else is driving a car and we’re sitting behind, even then if a puppy comes under the wheel, will be painful or not? Of course, it is. If I’m a chief minister or not, I’m a human being. If something bad happens anywhere, it is natural to be sad.”
Modi came under sharp criticism from the Congress over the interview in which he also said that he had done the ‘absolutely right thing’ in 2002 when the state was hit by riots and that an SIT set up by the Supreme Court had given him a ‘thoroughly clean chit’.
Political rivals attacked Modi’s statement as “insensitive and reflective of his mindset” over the death of Muslims in the 2002 post-Godhra riots. SP accused Modi of comparing Muslims to progeny of dogs. BJP defended Modi’s remarks, saying he has been “misinterpreted completely” and “a controversy has been created where it does not exist”.
Describing the controversy as “absolutely despicable”, BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said “I appeal to all to read the interview in full and not to speak out of context. It is risky.”
On the ‘puppy’ comment, she said Modi meant anybody would feel sad even if a human being came under a car.
“Clearly, this is done with an intention to appease a particular section. It is part of Congress’ vote bank politics. It is part of Congress’ strategy before elections,” she said