BJP's national general secretary Ram Madhav may have set the party up for embarrassment during an interview with Al Jazeera presenter and journalist Mehdi Hasan. Ironically, Madhav had clearly agreed to be a part of a segment titled, 'Is Modi's India flirting with fascism?' to defend the government against such allegations.
During the course of the interview, Madhav told the Muslim anchor, 'your ISIS' while trying to make a point about his apprehensions about the terror group acquiring nuclear weapons. Hasan, not willing to let go easily, exclaimed, 'My ISIS' thrice, as Madhav fumbled and tried to correct his course. The BJP leader didn't apologise but went on to explain, 'What I was trying to say is ISIS...' However, the damage had been done.
A former political editor with HuffingtonPost UK, Hasan tweeted:
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) December 26, 2015
Madhav and Hasan, had clearly been on a collision path right from the beginning of the show. The BJP leader was on the defensive as the show kicked off.
At the beginning, Hasan asked about the instances of communal violence in the country and atrocities against minorities, citing government data. However, Madhav sought to correct him saying it was wrong data. When Hasan retorted that he was quoting government data, the BJP leader said that the anchor had old data and new figures showed that violence against minorities had declined during Modi's tenure. Hasan persisted with his argument and reminded Madhav that the National Crime Records Bureau had questioned the said 'new' data.
About 20 minutes into the 45-minute long interview, the Kashmir issue came up. Hasan grilled Madhav about the Modi government's Pakistan policy and the strife in Kashmir. Madhav said that there have been NSA level talks and even the PMs have spoken.
However, Hasan was relentless and insisted that Madhav answer the question that how the Modi government proposes to solve the Kashmir issue which has been going on for '60-70' years.
"Why are you worried, we're settling it," Madhav exclaimed. To which, Hasan quipped, "We're worried because the rest of the world cannot risk a nuclear war because you two countries can't settle it."
That's when Ram Madhav vehemently replied, "You worry about many more things that are happening. Your ISIS can catch hold of nuclear weapons.”
Strangely enough, a wave of laughter rang through the audience and Madhav too laughed it off and tried proceeding.
Later, Hasan's tweet created a stir on social media. However, Madhav didn't say anything in his defence except retweeting a couple of tweets in his defence.
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