On 5/6/2022 BJP suspended its national spokesperson Nupur Sharma and expelled its head of media unit in Delhi Naveen Kumar Jindal for their comments regarding Islam. Kuwait, Qatar and Iran had summoned Indian ambassadors. Vice President Venkaiah Naidu was on tour to Qatar. In the days that followed Afghanistan, Bahrain, Indonesia, Jordan, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and UAE apart from Organisation of Islamic Co-operation which has 57 members joined the condemnation.
India responded by saying that it respects all religions and views of those two persons are not the views of Government of India. It rejected OIC’s statement as unwarranted and narrow-minded. It regretted OIC has yet again chosen to make motivated, misleading and mischievous comments.
Some months back hijab controversy erupted in Karnataka. Then came demand for demolishing mosques and building temples in Kashi, Delhi, Ajmer, Srirangapattana and other places. On 2/6/2022 RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat said it supports movement for Kashi Temple as it has history. He said why look for Shivling at every mosque and RSS will not join any other movement for temple. This disappointed many followers.
India had hit back at USA’s Anthony Blinken for his statement on religious liberty in India. With Gulf countries India was soft. It did not say it was freedom of speech and expression as many Western countries do. They did not ban book and cartoons that offended Muslims. Many Indians work in Gulf countries. India trades with them. It does not want them to support Pakistan.
Nupur accepted the punishment and apologised. She had received death threats and has security. Naveen is out of BJP. Action against them is seen as harsh and wrong by many BJP members. For long, BJP was critical of Muslim appeasement by other parties. Now it is Muslim appeasement by BJP. Many supporters will see Narendra Modi as a coward or hypocrite. BJP spokespersons will hesitate to speak because they do not know whether their party will back them or sack them.