A legislator from India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has made Islamophobic remarks and used communal slurs against a Muslim MP inside the parliament.
During a debate on Thursday on the success of India’s historic moon mission, BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri called Kunwar Danish Ali of the opposition Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) a “terrorist” and a “pimp” among other offending remarks.
“You extremist… I am telling you, you circumcised,” the parliamentarian from the South Delhi constituency in the Indian capital said in Hindi, using a slur often used for Muslims in India.
“I will see this mulla outside,” said Bidhuri in an apparent threat at the end of a viral video, as at least two senior BJP leaders and former union ministers laughed, sitting next to him.
Mulla is another pejorative word for Muslims in South Asia.
The remarks inside the newly inaugurated parliament building sparked angry reactions from the opposition parties and social media users who demanded strict action against Bidhuri.
Ali told Al Jazeera he was upset and hurt by the remarks, but “not shocked”.
“I want to ask Mohan Bhagwat and Prime Minister [Narendra] Modi: Is this what RSS teaches to its cadres in their schools?” he said.
The RSS refers to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, or the National Association of Volunteers, the ruling BJP’s far-right ideological mentor that aims to create an ethnic Hindu state in the world’s most populous country. Bhagwat heads the RSS, which boasts of millions of lifetime members in India and abroad.