11/04/2017 11:55 AM IST | Updated 11/04/2017 12:02 PM IST

'It Was An Indefensible Slip On My Part', Tarun Vijay Apologizes For His Comments On South Indians

Vijay is the editor of the RSS weekly Panchajanya.

Hindustan Times via Getty Images

In an interview with The Hindu, former lawmaker of the Bharatiya Janata Party Tarun Vijay apologized for his recent remarks on South Indians.

Speaking to Al Jazeera last week, Vijay, the editor of RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh)weekly Panchajanya, said, "If we were racist, why would we have the entire South, which is complete...you know...Tamils.... you know Kerala, you know Karnataka, Andhra? Why do we live with them? We have black people all around us."

Responding to who is the "we" in his earlier remarks, Vijay told The Hindu, "We includes all of us. It means people from Kanyakumari to Kashmir and Tawang to Okha. I was responding to a person who was persistently attempting to prove India is a bad country for Africans."

"My answer to him was — don't defame your motherland. From Tamil Nadu to Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra, we live together as one people. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the right words to convey what I was trying to say and it ended up conveying exactly the opposite. It was an indefensible slip on my part," he said.

READ: We Live With Black People From South India And Are Therefore Not Racist, Says BJP MP Tarun Vijay

Responding to who are "black" people in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra, Vijay said, "No one; absolutely no one. The word 'black', as you watch the video, was not used in reference to Tamil Nadu or any other State — it was, like we say in Hindi — people of all colours are around us and we all live together. I misspoke and for that I feel great regret."

The Opposition on Monday severely criticized Vijay in Parliament and demanded, with Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge demanding an FIR be filed against him for sedition. "He is not an ordinary man. He writes about BJP's ideology. Aren't South Indians citizens of India?" Kharge said.

Read the full interview at The Hindu.

Also on HuffPost India:

Photo gallery 10 Cooking Tips For Indian Bachelors By Saransh Goila See Gallery