Actor Paresh Rawal, campaigning in Gujarat for the BJP, has landed in a controversy with his comments on Bengalis. At a rally, he said the people of Gujarat would tolerate inflation but not “Bangladeshis and Rohingya” next door. Facing a huge backlash, he apologised today.
“Gas cylinders are expensive, but their price will come down. People will get employment too. But what will happen if Rohingya migrants and Bangladeshis start living around you, like in Delhi? What will you do with gas cylinders? Cook fish for the Bengalis?” Paresh Rawal said on Tuesday in Valsad, which voted in the first phase of the Gujarat election yesterday.
“Gujarat people can tolerate inflation but not this … The way they deliver verbal abuses. A person among them needs to wear diaper on his mouth.”
The actor appeared to target Arvind Kejriwal, whose Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), rules the capital city.
“He would come in a private plane here and then sit in a rickshaw to show off. We have spent a lifetime in acting but even we have not seen such a nautankiwala. And plenty of abuses against Hindus. He had offered Biryani in Shaheen Bagh,” Mr Rawal said.
Many called it “hate speech” aimed at Bengalis. Others described it as “xenophobic dog-whistling” against the Bangladeshi and Rohingya.
After a flurry of angry tweets, Paresh Rawal wrote an apology post this morning, claiming that he meant “illegal Bangladeshis”.
“Of course the fish is not the issue AS GUJARATIS DO COOK AND EAT FISH. BUT LET ME CLARIFY BY BENGALI I MEANT ILLEGAL BANGLA DESHI N ROHINGYA. BUT STILL IF I HAVE HURT YOUR FEELINGS AND SENTIMENTS I DO APOLOGISE,” he posted.
of course the fish is not the issue AS GUJARATIS DO COOK AND EAT FISH . BUT LET ME CLARIFY BY BENGALI I MEANT ILLEGAL BANGLA DESHI N ROHINGYA. BUT STILL IF I HAVE HURT YOUR FEELINGS AND SENTIMENTS I DO APOLOGISE. 🙏 https://t.co/MQZ674wTzq
— Paresh Rawal (@SirPareshRawal) December 2, 2022
The post was in response to a user demanding his clarification: “Fish shouldn’t have been the topic. He needs to clarify.”
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