BJP MP Pragya Thakur urged Hindus to “sharpen their knives at home” at a Hindu convention, triggering controversy.
On December 25th, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Pragya Thakur of Madhya Pradesh's Bhopal made controversial remarks on "Love Jihad" and also told the Hindu gathering to prepare themselves in case someone attacks them by sharpening their "weapons." The gathering occurred at the Hindu Jagarana Vedike's Southern Region's annual convention in Karnataka's Shivamogga.
#PoliticalPulse | Speaking at the Hindu Jagarana Vedike's convention in Karnataka, Pragya Thakur also slammed “love jihad” and advised parents against educating their children in institutions run by missionaries.https://t.co/baMCJV5qDW pic.twitter.com/lFBqpferbZ
— The Indian Express (@IndianExpress) December 26, 2022
Pragya Thakur said to the gathering that Hindus have the right to retaliate against the attackers who hurt their dignity. "Love jihad. They have a tradition of jihad. If they get nothing, they will do love jihad. Even if they love, they do jihad in that. We (Hindus), too, love. We love god. A sanyasi loves god. But a sanyasi says, in this world created by god, end all oppressors, wrong-doers, sinners, or else, the true definition of love will not survive here. So answer those involved in love jihad the same way. Protect your girls, teach them the right values.", she said, addressing the crowd.
Thakur spoke about an incident in Shivamogga last February when a Bajrang Dal worker was stabbed to death by two Muslims. She addressed the crowd, "Keep weapons in your homes. At least keep the knives used to cut vegetables sharp. Don't know what situation will arise when. Everyone has the right to self-protection. If someone infiltrates our house and attacks us, it is our right to respond to them. Just like how knives cut vegetables, it will also chop mouths and heads."
After that, Pragya Thakur started advising parents about the education of children. According to her, parents sending children to study in institutions run by missionaries will distance themselves from their children and would make their children selfish.
"Stop sending to missionaries. By doing it, you are opening the doors of old age homes for yourselves. The children won't be yours and of your culture. They grow in the culture of old age homes and become selfish," she said.
Convenor of the Hindu Jagarana Vedike of Karnataka state, Keshava Murthy, supported Thakur's statements and said there was nothing wrong with what she said. Murthy noted that attacking someone is not something the Hindu culture represents, but learning self-defense should be okay.
"She did not make any provocative statement. What she said is that if someone attacks, one needs to be in a position to defend themselves… Our (Hindu) culture doesn't represent an attacking nature, but we need to protect ourselves when someone else attacks," Murthy said.
However, on January 7, over 100 ex-civil servants penned an open letter requesting action by the Committee of Ethics of the Lok Sabha in response to Thakur’s speech. “She is obviously fomenting hate against non-Hindu communities and advocating violence against them.” the letter stated.
In an open letter, they said #PragyaThakur has forfeited the ethical right to be a Member of Parliament. #BJP
— Deccan Herald (@DeccanHerald) January 8, 2023