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Controversial Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma gets pulled up by BJP, asked to calm down

Controversial Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma, who has attracted criticism for his reckless remarks recently, has been asked to calm down by the BJP, says a report in an English daily.

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DNA Web Team

Updated: Sep 26, 2015, 10:23 PM IST

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Controversial Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma, who has attracted criticism for his reckless remarks recently, has been asked to calm down by the BJP, says a report in an English daily.

Mahesh Sharma had made several contentious statements. He seemed on a warpath to cleanse Indian society of 'western cultural pollution', called APJ Abdul Kalam a nationalist and humanist 'despite being a Muslim', said a meat ban during Navaratri would be a political decision, and appeared to indicate that women should not go out at night as per the norms of Indian culture.

Mahesh Sharma had tried to deny his statement on women, claiming that he had not suggested any restrictions on women and night-outs, stating that his daughter was a doctor and often worked late. "It is not my intention to differentiate between sons and daughters," he told TV channels. 

On the Kalam controversy, Mahesh Sharma claimed, "One or half a line has been picked up. I was asked whether all roads names after Muslims were being changed and I said there is no such intention. If a road is being named after Dr Kalam, he was a Muslim, a nationalist and a humanitarian." 

Sharma had also stated that the Bible and Quran were 'specific to certain religions' while the Bhagavad Gita and Ramayana should be taught in schools.  

Though Sharma retracted some of his remarks and claimed others had been taken out of context, the BJP and RSS felt the minister had 'exceeded his brief' and given the impression that it was the official line of the establishment - says the daily. There was also concern - following an Opposition backlash - that Sharma's belligerence meant the RSS was covertly running the government.

BJP sources told the daily said it has been emphatically conveyed to Sharma that his comments are unnecessary, that he has exceeded his brief as culture minister and has been advised to stay out of adverse limelight. 

The minister also launched a public campaign against former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's decision to appoint the director of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library 48 hours before demitting office. However, this is not seen as being controversial.

 

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