New Delhi, Jan 25: All these days, the Congress maintained a studied silence over the ongoing controversy surrounding the Bollywood film, Padmaavat.
While Hindu right-wing groups known to share close ties with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) unleashed violence to register their protest against the Sanjay Leela Bhansali film, the Congress hardly said a word to condemn the shameful dance of terror in the name of Hindu honour and pride.
Finally, on Wednesday, after a school bus ferrying children in Gurgaon was attacked by a mob protesting against Padmaavat, which was earlier titled as Padmavati, Congress president Rahul Gandhi decided to speak against the groups protesting against the film.
While condemning the violence against children, Rahul blamed the ruling BJP for setting the "entire country on fire".
Rahul tweeted, "There will never be a cause big enough to justify violence against children. Violence and hatred are the weapons of the weak. The BJP's use of hatred and violence is setting our entire country on fire."
There will never be a cause big enough to justify violence against children. Violence and hatred are the weapons of the weak. The BJP's use of hatred and violence is setting our entire country on fire.— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) January 24, 2018
Reports say the bus belonged to GD Goenka World School. The attack took place on Sohna Road near Delhi at around 3 pm on Wednesday. During the attack, at least 30 children with teachers and a staff member were inside the bus as they were on their way back home.
The horrifying bus attack left the young passengers mortified as protesters threw rocks at the vehicle.
In order to save themselves from getting injured, terrified children crouched on the bus floor and others cried in panic. But nothing could stop the anger of a violent mob that was hell-bent on unleashing terror because a film is allegedly hurting their Rajput pride and Hindu sentiments.
Since the last few days, protesters belonging to the Shri Rajput Karni Sena and other Hindu right-wing groups have been attacking malls, multiplexes and setting vehicles on fire in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh--all ruled by the BJP.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal called the attack against the children "utterly shameful".
Utterly shameful. More disgusting is the complicity of those govts who r allowing it thro their inaction https://t.co/zLfsnpN39e— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) January 24, 2018
Deputy CM of Delhi Manish Sisodia questioned the BJP and the Shri Rajput Karni Sena for violence against school students.
मैं भाजपा व कर्णी सेना से पूछना चाहता हूँ - आप इतने निर्मम और निर्दयी हैं कि मासूम बच्चों को भी नहीं बख्शा? आप कहते हो हम हिंदुओ, राजपूतों के लिए लड़ रहे हैं। पर इन बच्चों में भी कई हिंदू होंगे, शायद कुछ राजपूत भी हों।— Manish Sisodia (@msisodia) January 24, 2018
आपने बच्चों पर हमला क्यों किया?
आख़िर किसके लिए लड़ रहे हो?
The Congress lambasted the BJP government in Haryana over its "failure" to maintain law and order in the wake of the attack on the school bus by goons protesting the release of film Padmaavat.
Randeep Surjewala took to Twitter to term the attack as "unacceptable" and "reprehensible" that endangered the lives of children.
हरियाणा के गुडगाँव में अनर्थक व खौंफनाक हिंसा— Randeep S Surjewala (@rssurjewala) January 24, 2018
हमारा वक्तव्य :- pic.twitter.com/x7bblSd1jL