Home India Shashi Tharoor Defends Malayali Taliban Tweet Amid Backlash

Shashi Tharoor Defends Malayali Taliban Tweet Amid Backlash

Shashi Tharoor Defends 'Malayali Taliban' Tweet Amid Backlash

Shashi Tharoor’s comment drew an instant backlash.

New Delhi:

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor’s comments on “Malayali Taliban” in a post sharing a video of the group’s celebrations in Afghanistan after the takeover of Kabul became controversial on Tuesday as many slammed the tweet. 

“It sounds as if there are at least two Malayali Taliban here – one who says “samsarikkette” around the 8-second mark & another who understands him!”, Shashi Tharoor, the MP from Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram, wrote in his tweet, sharing the video posted on August 15 by a user, Ramiz.

The video showed a Taliban member weeping in joy as the group neared Kabul, hours before the fall of the Afghan capital.

Mr Tharoor’s comment drew an instant backlash.

“This is highly problematic. Making statements like this especially when the Right Wing eco system is going on a hate campaign against Kerala regarding people joining jihadist groups. And you being an MP from Kerala’s capital should be knowing better,” wrote Korah Abraham, a journalist.

To which, the Congress leader replied: “I have been approached by Kerala mothers whose daughters are stuck in Afghanistan after having been taken there by their misguided husbands. I arranged a meeting with EAM SushmaSwaraj ji for a constituent to plead her case. Obviously it’s as an MP that I’m aware of the situation.”

Malayali writer NS Madhavan said: “Listened to this video repeatedly. The man didn’t say samsarikkatte. He might’ve said zamzam – holy water in Arabic, or samsaram in Tamil, meaning wife. Or he was saying some thing in his dialect. If the word wife triggers the MP, why drag Malayalis into that?”

The BJP’s Vinit Goenka tweeted: “This is not a comedy show Shashi Tharoor. It seems to be just tip of an iceberg. Congress and Left are ruining Kerala under pseudo- secularism. In my book #EnemiesWithin I have highlighted the fact about how Kerala is becoming a hot spot for recruitment of Islamic terrorist.”

The Twitter user whose post was shared by Mr Tharoor also pushed back. “There are no Kerala origin fighters in rank and file of Taliban they are Baloch from #zabul province who speak Brahvi and Bravhi language is widely spoken among them, Its a Dravidian language very similar to Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam etc,” wrote Ramiz.

Mr Tharoor doubled down on his views in response to the user:

Later, Mr Tharoor shared an article that quoted intelligence reports as revealing that “eight Keralites, who had left for Afghanistan to join IS” were among prisoners freed by the Taliban.

“I am sure all those who decried my tweet about the possibility of Malayalis in the Taliban will now notice the ones who were released from the government’s prisons today,” the Congress MP posted.

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