While Malaysia, Iraq and Libya joined more than a dozen Muslim countries in condemning the controversial remarks against the Prophet Mohammed by suspended BJP spokesman Nupur Sharma and now ousted leader Naveen Kumar Jindal, online campaigns such as #BoycottIndiaProducts and # Stopinsulting_ProphetMuhammad trending on Twitter and Facebook in several Gulf states, reported Bloomberg†
The comments drew international condemnation and some Islamic countries demanded apologies. Congress has asked why the country should apologize and face the consequences of the BJP leaders’ “crimes”.
Now, with these online campaigns, many see it as a major headache for Modi, who has spent the past eight years building relationships with the Middle Eastern countries to attract investment and build markets for Indian grains. , clothing and machinery.
News Agency AFP reported that a supermarket in Kuwait has removed Indian rice, spices and peppers from its shelves.
In a video posted by Arab News, workers at Al Ardiya Cooperative Society, a superstore in Kuwait City, are seen removing Indian tea and other products from their shelves, decrying the comments as “Islamophobic.”
“We are boycotting Indian products for insults to the Prophet. We, as Kuwaiti Muslims, do not accept insulting the Prophet,” said Nasser Al-Mutairi, the supermarket’s CEO.
Both the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia make up about 10 percent of India’s $1 trillion trade. The region accounts for more than half of the South Asian country’s oil imports.
Lakhs of Indian workers also feed the economies in the Gulf States alone, accounting for more than half of workers’ remittances to the South Asian nation.
Union Minister Piyush Goyal said the controversy did not affect the NDA dispensation, as Sharma was not a government official, and stressed that good relations will continue with the Gulf states that have responded sharply to the issue.
“I don’t think this statement was made by any government official and therefore it has no impact on the government and the party has taken the necessary measures,” Goyal, Minister of Trade and Industry, told reporters in Kochi. Kerala when asked about the controversy.
He said the State Department has clarified the matter.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has provided a clear clarification on that comment and the BJP has taken the necessary action in this regard. We have a very good relationship with all these countries and our relations will continue to be very good,” he said. †
When asked about a social media campaign to boycott Indian products, the minister said he had never heard of anything like it.
“They have only said that such a statement should not be made and that is why action has been taken against the person who made the comments. All Indians living in the Gulf countries are safe and have nothing to worry about,” the union minister said. .
After the spat broke out, the BJP claimed it respects all religions and strongly condemns the insult of any religious personality.
(With input from agencies)