Chandigarh, January 22, 2020: Even as he questioned Sukhbir Singh Badal’s logic in interpreting his criticism of SAD’s stand on CAA as being ‘anti-Sikh’, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday sent the Akali chief a copy of ‘Mein Kampf’, advising him to read Adolf Hitler’s autobiography to understand the dangerous implications of the unconstitutional legislation passed by the central government, of which the Akalis are a part.
Given the current attempts by the Centre to replicate Hitler’s agenda is India, it was important for the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leaders to read the former German Chancellor’s autobiography before coming out with irrational reactions on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), said the Chief Minister. The recent statements of various Akali leaders, including Sukhbir, clearly exposed their ignorance on this sensitive issue, with grave repercussions for the nation, said Captain Amarinder, urging Sukhbir to read the book and decide “whether it’s country first or political expediency”. “Supporting the bill in both houses of Parliament and in the Vidhan Sabha and opposing it on other platforms is unbecoming of a political leader,” the Chief Minister said in a letter sent to Sukhbir along the book.
In the letter, Captain Amarinder recalled that, during the last Vidhan Sabha session, he had promised to send the Shiromani Akali Dal copies of Hitler’s Mein Kampf, which in English translates to ‘My Struggles.’ “These were his (Hitler’s) beliefs which he sold to the German people In his rise to power, which later became his governments policy when his Nazi party assumed office,” wrote the Chief Minister, adding that “Apart from destroying Germany in World War 2, to fulfill his territorial ambition, from the time he assumed office in 1933 to the end of the war in 1945, his purification of the German race by his ethnic cleansing, led initially to the removal of his main opposition, the communist parties, followed by persecution of the intellectuals, and finally to the extermination of the Jews.”
“Read the book, as one always learns from history. The world has changed and our television and other media are powerful, and certainly different to that of Germany in the thirties under Joseph Goebbels. Nevertheless, the talk of camps and a national register to eliminate the Muslim and Jewish communities is ominous,” Captain Amarinder further wrote, adding that while some of the political parties, including the Congress, were protesting every day along with universities across the country, “it is time now that others, too, join this movement.”
Meanwhile, taking the SAD president head-on over yesterday’s remarks, the Chief Minister, in a statement here, also asked him to explain how his (Captain Amarinder’s) demand for the Akalis to quit NDA over CAA amounted to “subservience” to the Gandhi family. “Or are you trying to say that the lakhs of people out on the streets to protest against CAA are doing so simply out of subservience to the Gandhi family,” he asked Sukhbir.
Retorting to Sukhbir’s ‘saving his chair’ jab, the Chief Minister said his chair was quite secure. “But apparently, you are worried about your wife Harsimrat’s chair in the union cabinet and do not want her to lose that at any cost,” quipped Captain Amarinder, adding that this could be the reason for SAD refusing to walk out of NDA despite claiming to take a stand against CAA.
Dubbing Sukhbir’s remarks as a blatant case of double standards, the Chief Minister pointed out that the SAD chief was deliberately twisting his (Captain Amarinder’s) statements in a bid to fool the people on the government’s stand on CAA. “Or is he so ignorant that he does not understand the difference between seeking inclusive legislation, which allows citizenship for all communities, including Muslims and Sikhs, and a law that excludes certain sections such as the Muslims and Jews etc?” asked the Chief Minister.
“I fail to understand what clarification Sukhbir wants from me on this count? Can he point out a single instance or statement where I have opposed giving relief to persecuted Sikhs or, for that matter, to persecuted Hindus or Buddhists? ”asked Captain Amarinder. Not only had he personally always stood for the rights and interests of Sikhs, at no point had he asked for Sikhs to be excluded from the ambit of CAA, pointed out the Chief Minister, asking the SAD president to stop indulging in such brazen fabrications to mislead the people.
In fact, said the Chief Minister, it was Sukhbir who needed to clarify his and his party’s stand on CAA, considering their outrageously contradictory statements on the issue over the past several days. “First they support CAA wholeheartedly in Parliament, then some of them (Akali leaders) say they want Muslims in CAA (why they did not say so in Parliament is beyond comprehension), then one of their leaders says they won’t fight Delhi polls because they are not ready to review their stand on CAA. But nobody knows what their stand on CAA really is,” quipped the Chief Minister, asking Sukhbir to give clarity, once and for all, on the controversial issue.