Himanta Biswa Sarma, the senior BJP leader from Assam has recently been making a name for himself on Twitter.
We had reported how Sarma had via a tweet, tore in to Rahul Gandhi’s image building efforts using his pet dog Pidi. That tweet which currently has over 1 lakh retweets. He had later helped procure treatment for a Paralympic athlete via twitter and had also taken on former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Today though he was on the end of much criticism after media reports claimed that he had made an insensitive statement about cancer patients.
As per reports, Sarma who is also Assam’s health minister had stated that people suffer from life-threatening diseases like cancer because of divine justice meted out to them, for sins committed in the past:
Assam Health min #HimantaBiswaSarma says people suffer from life-threatening diseases such as cancer because of sins committed in past which he called “divine justice”
— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) November 22, 2017
A quote carried by TOI even claimed that Sarma quoted the Gita and the Bible to further this “theory” of his. He as per the report had made the alleged statement on Tuesday while distributing appointment letters to teachers in Guwahati.
Such an odd statement by him meant that the vultures soon started circling and it was latched on by the leftist websites. Scroll carried the news by titling it as, Cancer and accidents are ‘divine justice’ for our sins, says Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
Later former finance minister P Chidambaram decided to take potshots at Sarma who earlier used to be a Congress leader:
‘Cancer is divine justice for sins’ says Assam Minister Sharma. That is what switching parties does to a person.
— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) November 22, 2017
Sarma as a result decided to give his side of the story and claimed that the whole affair was a result of the media distorting his statement:
Sir, please do not distort. Simply I said that Hinduism believe in karmic law and human sufferings are linked to karmic deficiency of past life.Don’t you belief that too?Of course in your party I do not know whether Hindu philosophy can be discussed at all https://t.co/P7CMBIRCYQ
— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) November 22, 2017
As per him, he simply stated the Hindus’ beliefs in karmic law and human suffering’s linkage with karmic deficiency. He later made a veiled gesture about Congress party being anti-Hindu by wondering as to whether Hindu philosophy can even be discussed there.
The exact context in which the statement by Sarma was made is not yet clear as there is no video clip yet of the alleged statement. Further, it appears that the statement was made yesterday — as this tweet by a local journalist suggests — but the national media decided to play it up only today.