since the formation of the new Afghanistan The government, the ‘Taliban’ seems to be the subject of discussion in the world. Here in Karnataka, politicians have engaged in a war of words by calling each other ‘Taliban’. The controversy started after former Chief Minister and Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah compared the BJP and the RSS to the Taliban. State BJP president Nalin Kumar Kateel hit back at him by calling him a “terrorist”.
An incident in which some BJP workers allegedly stopped a vehicle carrying Muslim and Christian youths near Mangalore has now become a major controversy in the state. Siddaramaiah had condemned the incident, saying, “Stopping vehicles and harassing youth on the basis of mere suspicion shows the Taliban mentality of the BJP. The RSS is an extra-constitutional authority. It’s a dangerous organization.”
Meanwhile, Kateel calls Siddaramaiah a Talibani who is against Hindus. He alleged that the state had the highest number of murders during the Congress rule. “The Siddaramaiah government was against Hindus. Many Hindus were murdered during his reign. He did nothing to stop them. Who is the Talibani? That or us?” said Kateel, BJP MP from Mangalore.
Supporting Kateel’s views, BJP national general secretary and MLA CT Ravi took a dig at Siddaramaiah and invited him to join the RSS to understand it better. “Siddaramaiah is calling us Talibani. He doesn’t know anything about us. He will not be able to understand the RSS from outside. I invite him to join us,” said Ravi.
Former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah termed Ravi a ‘fake Hindu’. In a series of tweets, he has questioned the commitment of the RSS-BJP towards Hindus. “Who is the RSS that claims they protect Hindus? Are they elected by the people? Do they have any constitutional right? The farmers protesting against the rape of a Dalit girl in Delhi are also Hindus. What is the RSS doing about them? We will defeat your Talibani mentality through constitutional means.
After the verbal war between Siddaramaiah and Kateel, many BJP and Congress leaders have started calling each other Talibani.
However, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and his predecessor BS Yediyurappa have distanced themselves from the current tussle.
At the level of political discourse these days, a senior Congress leader from Karnataka quipped, “I know these people don’t know what Taliban is or what it means.” I advise the state government to send a delegation of MLAs and MLCs to Afghanistan to study and understand the Taliban. I hope that once they come back, they will not use words like Taliban so casually or casually.”