By Bengali, I Meant Illegal Bangladeshis: Actor Paresh Rawal at BJP campaign
Well renowned actor Paresh Rawal has landed himself in controversy, following his viral comments about Bengalis, during his campaign in Gujarat, for the ruling BJP.
At the rally, the actor mentioned that the people of Gujarat would tolerate inflation, but not the 'Bangladeshis and Rohingya' next door.
"Gas cylinders are expensive, but their prices 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?" said Rawal on Tuesday.
Many saw the incident as "hate speech" attacking Bengalis, with others describing it as 'xenophobic dog-whistling' against Bangladeshis and Rohingyas.
"Bengalis don't need you to cook fish for them. Remember you too have made your career in Maharashtra where we lovingly fed you dhokla and fafda. Withdraw and apologize for these despicable remarks you made against Bengal on orders of BJP in Gujarat," said Saket Gokhale, the spokesperson for Bengal's ruling Trinamool Congress.
After many angry tweets, Paresh Rawal eventually wrote an apology post, but caused even more aggravation by stating that he meant "illegal Bangladeshis and Rohingya", when using the word "Bengalis".
"Of course the fish is not the issue as Gujaratis do cook and eat fish. But let me clarify - by Bengali I meant illegal Bangladeshi and Rohingya. But still if I have hurt your feelings and sentiments, I do apologise ," posted Rawal.