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‘Not important’: Kerala Governor dismisses Qatar’s demand for public apology over remarks against Prophet


New Delhi: Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Monday dismissed a demand for public apology by Qatar over the controversial remarks made by now-suspended and expelled BJP leaders against Prophet Mohammad, saying that it is ‘not important’. He said that people should pay attention to the Prime Minister and the RSS chief’s calls for strengthening India’s tradition of inclusiveness.

Arif Khan, while speaking to reporters in the national capital, said there were countries who spoke against India for several years on Kashmir and even on other matters. ‘People are entitled to their opinions. How does it matter? That (demand for apology) is not important. India cannot bother about such small reactions’, the Governor said in response to a query seeking his views on Qatar seeking a public apology from India.

The Kerala Governor said what India had to be careful about was protecting its own traditions. ‘Our tradition is not tolerance, but respect and acceptance for all traditions. We respect and we accept all traditions as true. India’s culture does not consider anybody as others’, the Governor told reporters.

‘…We should pay more attention to what the Prime Minister is repeatedly saying and what the RSS chief is repeatedly saying — that we want our tradition of inclusiveness to be strengthened. Nobody is to be excluded. That is our cultural heritage. We need to strengthen that’, he said. He also said that what the expelled BJP leaders — Nupur Sharma and Naveen Kumar Jindal — said was probably ‘in the heat of the moment in front of TV’. ‘These things are not really important’, he added.

Nupur Sharma’s comments, made in a TV debate nearly 10 days back, and Naveen Kumar Jindal’s now-deleted tweets also sparked a Twitter trend, calling for a boycott of Indian products in some Arab countries. While Nupur Sharma, who was a BJP national spokesperson, has been suspended from the party, Naveen Kumar Jindal, head of Delhi BJP media head, has been expelled from the party.



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