Bengaluru: Well known right-wing TV Anchor Ajit Hanamakkanavar, who made derogatory statements against the Prophet Muhammad on his show, has tendered a public apology.
During a TV debate on Friday, while discussing writer K. S. Bhagawan’s book on Ram temple, Hanamakkanavar, who anchors a news program on Suvarna News Kannada TV Channel, unwarrantedly dragged the name of the Prophet Muhammad and made offensive remarks about the Prophet’s marriage to Ummul Momineen Ayesha.
Bhagawan’s latest book “Rama Mandira Yeke Beda” (Why Ram temple is not required), has drawn the wrath of Hindutva groups in Karnataka, who have filed a complaint against the activist writer, and demanded his arrest. In his book, Bhagawan has written that Ram was not a God and that he suffered from weaknesses just as any other human being. Hanamakkanavar, who was debating the issue on his show, asked if writers such as Bhagwan, who write about Ram, have the same courage to write about the Prophet’s marriage to Ummul Momineen Ayesha, and used derogatory language against the Prophet.
Muslims, who found the remarks offensive, took to social media to express their outrage against Hanamakkanavar and demanded him to tender an apology. Later in the day, a visibly shaken Hanamakkanavar issued an apology to the Muslim community and claimed that his intention was not to hurt anyone’s feelings.
In December, another pro-Hindutva journalist courted similar controversy, when at a public program, he claimed that the tenets preached by the Prophet Muhammad centuries ago in Arabia were the reasons behind Tipu Sultan’s alleged cruelty against Hindus and terrorism. The journalist Santosh Thammaiah was arrested by the Karnataka police for his derogatory remarks and later released on bail.