Rakhi Chakrabarty TNN
New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal was on Tuesday embroiled in a controversy over his meeting with a controversial Muslim cleric who faced allegations of incitement of communal violence and who set off a huge furore by announcing bounties on the heads of exiled Bengali author Taslima Nasrin and former US President George Bush.
Nasrin lashed out at Kejriwal and the Indian political class following reports the AAP chief sought the support of Barelvi cleric Tauqeer Raza Khan who issued a fatwa to behead her for criticizing orthodox practices of Islam.
“A politician goes to a fundamentalist who declared a price on my head knowing it is illegal and against the Indian Constitution,” the author said in an exclusive conversation with TOI.
“I am surprised politicians go to such fanatics and fundamentalists for support. If they need the support of Muslims, why don’t they go to ordinary Muslims? Instead, politicians go to Muslim fanatics responsible for the community’s backwardness,” Nasrin said. “Since the days after independence, Indian politicians have been seeking help of clerics who don’t respect human rights and who are against freedom of expression and the Indian Constitution. This has encouraged the irrational, misogynist fanatics who are against modernity and plurality of thoughts,” she said.
The BJP also hit out at the AAP boss for reaching out to Khan who floated Ittehad-e-Millat Council to contest the 2010 assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.