Sharma earlier said that Dr APJ Abdul Kalam was "a nationalist and a humanist despite being Muslim"

Night out for girls not part of Indian culture Union culture minister Mahesh SharmaImage for representation
news Saturday, September 19, 2015 - 09:52

Union culture minister Mahesh Sharma seems to be on a spree- of making controversial statements.

Just a day after calling former President of India Dr APJ Abdul Kalam "a nationalist and a humanist despite being Muslim", Sharma has now said that girls enjoying a night out is not part of Indian culture, reported The Times of India

“(It) may be all right elsewhere but it is not part of Indian culture,” the report quotes the minister as telling a television channel on Friday. 

In an interview to a national television channel this week, Sharma allegedly said: "I respect Bible and Quran but they are not central to the soul of India in the way Gita and Ramayana are."

The Congress in Goa has filed a police complaint Sharma for allegedly delivering a hate speech against minority religions.

"With a malicious intent to hurt the religious feelings of Christians and Muslims, he went too far in making remarks that can be defined a hate speech intended to create religious discord between members of different religions and destroy the secular fabric of our nation," Congress spokesperson Sunil Kawthankar, one of the two party office-bearers to sign the complaint filed against Sharma at Panaji police station, said.

On Thursday, while speaking on India Today TV news channel, Sharma justified the decision to change the name of Auranzeb Road to A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Road.

The Indian Express quotes him as saying, “Mein samajhta hoon ki Aurangzeb koi adarsh nahin the. Prernasrot hi prerak ho sakta hai. Aurangzeb Road ka bhi naam badal kar ek aise mahapurush ke naam par kiya hai jo Musalmaan hote hue bhi itna bada rashtravadi aur manavtavadi insaan tha, APJ Abdul Kalam, unke naam par kiya gaya hai (I don’t think Aurangzeb was an ideal person. Only a source of inspiration can be inspirational. Aurangzeb Road has been named after such a great man who, despite being a Muslim, was a nationalist and a humanist, A P J Abdul Kalam. The road has been named after him).”

His remark has garnered severe criticism with the Congress calling it "senseless". 

"I am a Muslim and I am also a patriot. My father and grandfather were also patriot and we are practicing Islam for many generations," Congress general secretary Shakeel Ahmed said adding that people like Sharma ruling the country was a cause of concern.

With inputs from IANS