Former Indian Foreign Minister's house set ablaze by Hindu extremists
Former Indian foreign minister’s home was vandalised and set on fire by Hindu extremists, days after his new book, which drew a parallel between “Hindutva" and Daesh, sparked controversy.
Visuals shared by Salman Khurshid, a Muslim from the main opposition Congress party, who served as India’s foreign minister from 2012 and 2014, on Facebook showed plumes of smoke, charred doors and shattered window panes at his home in the Himalayan resort town of Nainital.
“I hoped to open these doors to my friends who have left this calling card. Am I still wrong to say this cannot be Hinduism,” he wrote in a post.
"So such is the debate now. Shame is too ineffective a word. Besides I still hope that we can reason together one day and agree to disagree if not more," he wrote in another post.
According to initial reports, Khurshid’s house was attacked by a mob of around 20 unidentified extremists. No one was hurt as he was away with his family at the time of the incident.
Police officials were quoted as saying that a case was registered against 21 people in connection with the incident.
The attack came days after Khurshid launched his new book 'Sunrise over Ayodhya: Nationalism in Our Times', comparing Hindutva (Hindu hegemony) to terrorist groups like Daesh.
According to human rights groups, since 2014 when the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power in India, it has adopted laws and taken action that legitimize discrimination against religious minorities, especially Muslims.
The attack on Khurshid’s home was condemned by many politicians, including parliamentarian Asaduddin Owaisi, who called the attack a “clear case of radicalisation”.
Senior Congress leader and MP Shashi Tharoor also slammed the incident.
"This is disgraceful. @salman7khurshid is a statesman who has done India proud in international forums & always articulated a moderate, centrist, inclusive vision of the country domestically. The mounting levels of intolerance in our politics should be denounced by those in power,” he tweeted.
Muslims are the second largest majority in India, the world’s largest democracy, accounting for more 250 million. Recent years have seen growing violence against the community.