Thimpu (Bhutan): Taking a potshot at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's repeated claims of "1,200 years of foreign rule", senior Congress leader and former Union Minister Shashi Tahroor on Sunday said he did not regard Muslim rulers as foreigners.
"I am talking about the British who came and ruled us for the benefit of a country far away. For the Prime Minister, Muslim rulers who originally came to India to rule but stayed in India, assimilated and intermarried are also considered foreigners. To me they are not foreigners. If they stole and looted, they spent their loot here. They did not send it back to another country like the British," Tharoor is quoted as saying in a report by NDTV.
Speaking at Mountain Echoes Literary Festival in Bhutan's capital Thimpu, Tharoor said that while he believed India was colonised under the British, for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India's colonisation started with its Muslim rulers.
"History has become contestant territory in our country. We have seen this starting with the Ram Janmabhoomi movement which was the first major nationwide effort to essentially take revenge upon history... You can't undo what was done centuries ago and simply create new wrongs and injustices against people who are innocent of the old wrong doings," he said.
"Today battles are about the present and history is being used as a battle axe... When I speak of 200 hundred years of foreign rule, our prime minister speaks of 1,200 years of foreign rule," he said.
Prime Minister Modi while speaking as part of the Motion of Thanks to the President’s address to the joint session of the Parliament on 9 June, 2014 said he was troubled by "1,200 years of slave mentality".
"Barah sau saal ki gulami ki maansikta humein pareshan kar rahi hai. Bahut baar humse thoda ooncha vyakti mile, to sar ooncha karke baat karne ki humari taaqat nahin hoti hai (The slave mentality of 1,200 years is troubling us. Often, when we meet a person of high stature, we fail to muster strength to speak up)", Modi said.
Modi's comments were in line with the ideology of BJP and its patron RSS - the right wing hardliners known for their hate for Muslims who consider all Muslim rulers as invaders and foreigners.