Prophet Muhammad row: How support for Nupur Sharma is growing each day


The controversy over remarks made by Nupur Sharma, now suspended member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), on Prophet Muhammad refuses to die down.

While there are many such as All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi demanding for the BJP leader’s arrest, some have come out and extended their support to Sharma and condemned the threats issued against her.

On Sunday, AIMIM’s Owaisi was quoted as saying by news agency PTI, “Nupur Sharma is not being arrested. As per the law, she should be arrested. She has not been arrested for so many days. Why don’t you arrest her and take legal action against her? Who is stopping you?”

“Take action against her, arrest her as per the law. We demand that she be arrested and action be taken against her as per the law. Had BJP been serious, it would have told her then and there (that her statements were objectionable), but it took 10 days to do so,” he added, saying her apology wasn't needed and law must take its own course.

On the same day, some BJP leaders and members of civil society joined the ranks of Nupur Sharma’s supporters.

Support swells for Nupur Sharma

On a day when calls for Sharma’s arrest became louder, cricketer-turned-politician Gautam Gambhir, the East Delhi BJP MP, extended his support to his suspended colleague.

Under the hashtag “#LetsTolerateIntolerance”, Gambhir tweeted: “Silence of so called ‘secular liberals’ on the sickening display of hatred & death threats throughout the country against a woman who has apologised is surely DEAFENING!”

According to an Indian Express report, he also referred to protests in several states over the remarks against the Prophet: “The blatant display of hatred, death threats against her and her family and coordinated rioting in different parts of the country is a cause of concern. Even more astonishing is the silence of those secular liberals who blame our party for so-called intolerance. It is clear that vote bank politics is in play in certain states where rioters have created havoc with impunity. I laud the actions taken by the UP government to control the situation and to discourage such behaviour. This kind of behaviour cannot be tolerated in 21st Century India.”

Gambhir isn’t alone in his support of Nupur Sharma. Even though it has been reported that the BJP has instructed its officials — spokespersons and Union ministers — to be cautious on the topic when appearing on television debates, the backing for Nupur Sharma has been growing louder each day.

Also read: How Nupur Sharma saga raises more questions than it answers

BJP leader Kapil Mishra in a Hindi tweet said that within Hindus, unlike other religions, a person mocking the religion is rewarded not punished.

BJP MP Sadhvi Pragya Thakur tweeted, “If telling the truth is rebellion, then I am also a rebel.”

Former councillor from Safdarjung, Radhika Abrol also extended her support to Sharma by posting a video on her Facebook page. The video, however, was later taken down.

“I am supporting Nupur as an individual. Just because I am linked to an organisation that doesn’t mean that I don’t have my own thoughts. There is space for open thinking in our party,” she was quoted as saying to Indian Express.

Also read: Nupur Sharma has erred, no doubt: But why are liberals mutedly supporting Islamist challenge to her right to life?

Kangana Ranaut has also extended support to Nupur Sharma. “Nupur is entitled to her opinions, I see all kinds of threats targeted at her, when Hindu Gods are insulted which they are almost every day we go to court, pls do that no need to play dons yourself...(sic)” she wrote in a Facebook post.


The Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders, who extended his support to Nupur Sharma, said that he was receiving several death threats but he was unmoved by them.

He added that the threats only make him ‘more determined and proud of supporting her’.

Rajya Sabha MP Mahesh Jethmalani also defended suspended BJP leader Nupur Sharma, saying it was an ‘insensitive statement made under provocation’.

“Nupur Sharma is not a fringe politician. Under provocation she made an insensitive statement which she has regretted. The real fringe are those who on public platforms stoke the fire created by her error and ruin GOIs efforts to repair the damage and restore India's image abroad,” Mahesh Jethmalani said.

There have also been support protests in her favour across the country. On Saturday, a support procession was taken out in Uttar Pradesh’s Bhadohi. Those taking part in the event were quoted as saying that the entire Hindu society was supporting Nupur Sharma and the BJP needed to respect her.

Similarly, people gathered on Sarkhej Gandhinagar Highway in Ahmedabad to march in favour of Nupur Sharma. They assembled at the ISKCON Cross Road to take out a rally in support of Sharma and "Hindu unity" but were prevented by police, reported the Deccan Herald.

With inputs from agencies

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Prophet Muhammad row: How support for Nupur Sharma is growing each day
Prophet Muhammad row: How support for Nupur Sharma is growing each day
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