Music composer and now former Aam Aadmi Party member Vishal Dadlani has shared a new statement with the media in which he apologised for his controversial tweet on Jain monk Tarun Sagar.
Last Friday, the Jain monk, who belongs to the Digambara sect of the religion, delivered a speech in the Haryana Assembly. Like all monks belonging to that school of thought, he did not wear any clothes while doing so. This led to Dadlani posting a tweet — now deleted — that read: "If you voted for these people, YOU are responsible for this absurd nonsense! No #AchcheDin, just #NoKachcheDin."
Dadlani later backtracked and apologised for his tweet when it led to outrage, particularly from the Jain community. He stressed that his intention was not to offend anyone, but merely to make a statement that discourages the mixing of religion with politics — a hallmark of true secularism. After all, during his speech, the monk had been quoted as saying: "Dharma is the husband, politics is the wife. It is the duty of every husband to protect the wife. It is the duty of every wife to accept the discipline of the husband. If there is no control of dharma over politics, it will be like an elephant out of control."
Nevertheless, with the whole thing spiralling out of control, Dadlani was forced to delete his original tweet, apologise repeatedly for his statements (with no support from AAP members, who distanced themselves from his words and even apologised on his behalf), and finally to quit all active political work. A day later, Tarun Sagar told the media that he bore no grudges against Dadlani for the comment, saying it probably came from ignorance about Jainism and its beliefs, and adding, "He has a right to differ, criticise. I don't care what people say about me."
Nevertheless, four days after the controversy, Dadlani has shared a full statement that reiterates many of the same points he made on Twitter, adding that he plans to work only for social causes from now on and asking the monk's forgiveness once again.
Here's the full statement.
It's been four days now, since I tweeted about the appearance of Muni Tarun Sagar ji in the Haryana State Assembly. I feel like I have failed in my duty as a human being, to be sensitive to the feelings of others. I had no intention whatsoever to cause any offence.
I'm not a religious man, but I know how much religion means to believers. I have asked for forgiveness from Muni Tarun Sagar ji, and his followers, several times, but it's not enough for the guilt and pain I feel. As a concerned Indian, I should have been especially careful to be sensitive to the sentiments of followers of Muni Tarun Sagar ji. Especially after receiving his forgiveness, I realise what a magnanimous and generous heart he has, and what strength lies within the gentleness of the Jain people.
I have always stood up for the rights of every Indian, and I feel like I have failed my love for my country this time. Because it is the gentle and kind Muni Tarun Sagar ji who could have been affected, I know I have no reason to be afraid, but I do have strong reason to be hurt and disappointed with myself.
I wish to apologise again, and also to state very clearly, that I am no longer going to be involved or associated with any political parties or individuals. In my capacity as an artist and a musician, I will only work for social causes, for the upliftment and betterment of the poor and underprivileged, as the Jain Community does. It is my ego that led me into speaking without thinking and unintentionally saying something that has caused unhappiness to my Jain friends. It is that same ego that I hope to defeat, with your help.
I apologise again, from the depths of my heart, and ask that Muni-ji and all my Jain brothers and sisters, forgive me. I promise you all, it is a mistake that will not be repeated. In a display of true Jain generosity, Muni-ji has already said that my statement is irrelevant to him and that he forgives me, but I still feel the need to personally ask his forgiveness again, and that of any and all his followers and those from the Jain community who I may have caused unhappiness.
It is my fervent hope that I can convey that I have the greatest respect for him and the Jain religion. I ask your forgiveness in the spirit of Paryushan...Michhami Dukkadam. Vishal Dadlani
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