New Delhi– Former BJP parliamentarian Tarun Vijay on Friday apologised for his controversial remarks on South Indian people, that he made to deny allegations of racism in India. He said he had been misinterpreted.
“If we were racist, why would we have all the entire south… why do we live with them if we are racist. We have black people people around us,” Vijay told Al Jazeera news channel while clarifying that attacks on Africans in India had nothing to do with racism.
Attacked for his controversial comments, Vijay apologised and tweeted: “My words perhaps were not enough to convey this. Feel bad, really feel sorry, My apologies to those who feel I said different than what I meant.”
Vijay said that he was misinterpreted and said: “And, I never, never, even in a slip, termed south India as black. have patience to watch the show before reacting angrily.”
“I can die but how can I ridicule my own culture, my own people and my own nation? Think before you misinterpret my badly framed sentence,” Vijay said in another tweet.
“In many parts of the nation we have different people, in colour and never ever we had any discrimination against them.”
“Yes, it sounds ridiculous and very bad. I meant, we worship Krishna, which literally means black. And we have never had any racism,” Vijay said.
“… we were the first to oppose any racism and were in fact victims of racist British.”
Clarifying that his statement was wrongly interpreted, Vijay said: “I feel the entire statement was this – we have fought racism and we have people with different colour and culture still never had any racism.”
He added that he meant that our country has people of all colour.
Replying to tweets, Vijay said: “I have Tamil, Bengali, Telugu in my family – worked with commitment for Tamil culture, without any politics, collectively with all.”
Vijay’s comments invited a barrage of criticism on social media.
S. Immanuel tweeted: “@Tarunvijay black or white it is all about being civilised. Brainy blacks in south India tolerate so called white jungle raj of north india.”
CMO Tamil Nadu, a parody account, tweeted a picture of Vijay in a south Indian temple, with the comment: “White indian @Tarunvijay with South Indian black people friends.”
Another twitterati posted: “This guy goes on air says Indians are not racist then made a fool of himself by being racist n had no idea he was being racist @Tarunvijay.”