Less than two months after courting controversy for hugging Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa at a time when India’s relation with its neighbor were at its lowest, Navjot Sidhu stirred up a fresh controversy on Saturday, when he drew an unwarranted cultural analogy between Pakistan and South India.
Speaking at a literary festival in Kasol, Sidhu said, “If I go to Tamil Nadu, I don’t understand the language. Not that I don’t like the food, but I can’t take it for long. That culture is totally different. But if I travel to Pakistan there is no difficulty. The language is the same and everything there is just amazing.”
The Punjab tourism and culture minister was apparently trying to highlight the cultural affinity Punjab shares with Pakistan. However, by drawing a comparison over the sensitive lingual divide issue, Sidhu, in the process, has perhaps compounded his troubles.
Sidhu also clarified his hug to Pakistan Army chief in his own style. The cricketer-turned-television anchor-turned politician said, “My Jhappi was no conspiracy, it was no Rafale deal… If somebody tells me that they are ready to open the Kartarpur corridor. I mean they said it 400 times that we are ready to open the corridor then this is the way I show affection. I will hug and also kiss them. I care two hoots about people who play dirty politics on that. I have lived my life on my terms.”