Kiran Bedi, former lieutenant governor and BJP leader, apologized for her derogatory statements against the Sikh community and claimed they shouldn’t have been misunderstood, after the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) among countless other groups and netizens, denounced them and called for action against her.
Bedi made a “12 o’clock” remark about the Sikh community at the book launch for her new book “Fearless Governance,” after which outrage ensued.
As per videos of the event, during her speech, Bedi said, “When the Mughals were looting India and abducting women, the Sikhs fought them and protected sisters and daughters. 12 o’clock was the time to attack the Mughals. This is the history of 12 o’clock.”
At the launch of her Book, @thekiranbedi gave a shockingly derogatory comment about Sikhs!
The responsible Govt offices should sack her for her discriminatory comments.
Her discriminatory behaviour makes her unqualified to hold any public office!
Why do they hate Sikhs so much! pic.twitter.com/UX1d778YHO
— Dr. Amarinder Singh | ਅਮਰਿੰਦਰ ਸਿੰਘ (@dr_amar_singh) June 13, 2022
Netizens were soon to take this up on Twitter, with hundreds calling for strict punishment in a matter of a few hours.
Shame on you and your thinking @thekiranbedi.
Read about Sikhs & their history and the contribution of sikhs to India 🇮🇳.
BJP is factory of leaders having such cheap mind set.
Why BJP is silent ?
I urge Chairman NCM @ILalpura to immediately lodge FIR against her.
— Harjot Singh Bains (@harjotbains) June 14, 2022
Shocking and shameful to crack a joke on a community that too when you are a Punjabi yourself@thekiranbedi must apologise for hurting sentiments of Sikh community. Or we will understand that @BJP4India has tasked its leaders for the particular job.
— Amarinder Singh Raja Warring (@RajaBrar_INC) June 14, 2022
All of us have grown up with these jokes on Sikhs. This is what they speak about us in our absence everywhere. Look at the audience who are laughing
— Komal jb Singh (@komalj_singh) June 14, 2022
Sikh valour at 12 o’clock. Rescuing and restoring the honour of women.
Kiran Bedi needs a history lesson. pic.twitter.com/x0oB7imXwT
— GKG (@GillysGuidance) June 14, 2022
The BJP leader’s offensive remarks were denounced by Punjab in-charge Jarnail Singh and he posted a statement to his Twitter account saying, “When the Mughals were looting India and abducting women, the Sikhs fought with them and protected the sisters and daughters. It was 12 o’clock when it was time to attack the Mughals. This is the history of 12 o’clock. Shame on the BJP’s cheap mentality leaders who make fun of Sikhs instead of giving them respect.”
“I have highest regards for my community. I am a devotee of Baba Nanak Dev ji. What I said to the audience even at my own cost (as I also belong here) be kindly not misread.I seek forgiveness for this.I am the last person to cause any hurt. I believe in Seva & loving kindness 🙏,” Bedi tweeted in response to the backlash.
She added, “We did Path and Seva same morning. I am a devotee. I seek Baba’s blessings all the way. I started the day with Path in the house. Please do not doubt my intention. I have the highest regards and admiration for my community and my Faith.”
We did Path and Seva same morning. I am a devotee. I seek Baba’s blessings all the way. I started the day with Path in the house. Please do not doubt my intention. I have the highest regards and admiration for my community and my Faith. pic.twitter.com/ClW0DuuyoG
— Kiran Bedi (@thekiranbedi) June 14, 2022