Music director and singer Vishal Dadlani on Sunday said he quit the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on his own after offending the Jain community and that he still saw the AAP as “family”.
In a string of tweets, Dadlani — the most vocal backer of the AAP in Bollywood — insisted that the party had not shown the door to him after his controversial tweet on a Jain religious leader, Tarun Sagar.
“A lot is being said against AAP because I chose to quit. I just want to say, AAP is a family. Please keep faith in (Delhi Chief Minister) Arvind Kejriwal and the party!” the Bollywood personality said.
“I apologize again, to the Jain Community, and all others offended. But I beg you all not to support religion in governance, for India’s sake,” he added.
Tarun Sagar, a Digambar Jain community monk, addressed the Haryana assembly on Friday.
A day later, Dadlani called Tarun Sagar’s speech as “monkery”. This he later deleted. But Dadlani came under widespread attack from members of the Jain community.
Kejriwal described Tarun Sagarji Maharaj “as a very revered saint, not just for Jains but everyone. Those showing disrespect is unfortunate and should stop. We deeply respect him and his thoughts”.
Delhi’s Home Minister Satyendar Jain also apologized for Dadlani’s remark.
“I feel bad that I hurt my Jain friends and my friends Kejriwal and Satyendar Jain. I hereby quit all active political work or affiliation,” Dadlani said.
“I’m sorry to have offended you and your beliefs too, Sir. My intent was not to hurt anyone. Spoke without thinking,” he added.
An AAP supporter tweeted: “Vishal Dadlani, Please don’t test our patience. We may do dharna outside (your) house if you leave us in the middle of our fight.”
Dadlani responded: “Ha ha! What a party that would be! AAP volunteers are the best in the world! Aa jaao! I will personally hug each one!”
He again said: “Please. Nobody has forced me to do or say anything. Whatever I have said, good or bad, is my own.
“I’m no leader, man. I’m just a guy with too many opinions. Learnt that India is safer when we all just wave and smile.
“I’m happy to apologize as long as people can see that mixing religion in governance is a serious problem!”