Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal faced attacks on social media after he shared a picture on Twitter on Wednesday that shows a man with a broom chasing a Nazi Swastika.
"Someone sent this ..." Mr Kejriwal wrote on Twitter.
Someone sent this ... pic.twitter.com/IScYDLgwZr— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) March 20, 2019
"Hoping for a Delhi, that I actually wouldn't mind visiting or living in," the text on the picture, shared in the tweet, read. Broom is the Aam Aadmi Party's election symbol.
A sharp reaction followed from Delhi BJP Chief Manoj Tiwari where he accused Mr Kejriwal of "berating Hinduism". While the rotated Swastika, as seen in Mr Kejriwal's image is recognised worldwide as the symbol of German dictator Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime, an upright Swastika is seen as the symbol of prosperity or auspiciousness in Indian religious like Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.
This is the power of Hindutva.— Chowkidar Manoj Tiwari (@ManojTiwariMP) March 20, 2019
We Hindus live peacefully. We have never believed in Prachar or Prasaar.
It hurts to see power hungry @ArvindKejriwal berating Hindus nd Hinduism when it suits his vote calculations.#ShameOnKejriwal@CeodelhiOffice should take strict action https://t.co/E3o0kO6zWJ
Swastika means "well-being" or "good fortune" in Sanskrit.
Delving deeper into the history of Swastika, Hindol Sengupta, an award-winning author, also slammed Mr Kejriwal on Twitter. "Dear @ArvindKejriwal this is quite disgusting. The Swastika is a sacred symbol in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism. The Nazis stole this and disfigured it in one of the vilest acts of cultural desecration. You are doing the same. If nothing read."
Dear @ArvindKejriwal this is quite disgusting. The Swastika is a sacred symbol in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism. The Nazis stole this and disfigured it in one of the vilest acts of cultural desecration. You are doing the same. If nothing read Wikipedia: https://t.co/l3GPOhd1qQhttps://t.co/NFRChsUKHE— HindolSengupta (@HindolSengupta) March 20, 2019
Mr Kejriwal's tweet, which has received over 9,000 comments, has been shared over 1,000 times.
"Swastika is sacred symbol of Hindus (including Buddhists & Jains) representing Sun & prosperity. Instead of condemning such Hinduphobic cartoon, you are sharing it. Does @AamAadmiParty want a Delhi in which Hindus are thrown out using brooms? India must reject this hate politics," a user replied to the post.
"What makes you insult our holy symbols now? Swastika is not related to any political party," another user wrote.
Amid an outpouring of reactions, AAP leader Sanjay Singh today tried to clarify that Mr Kejriwal's tweet referred to the Nazi symbol. "The pain of being hit by a broom is evident among the supporters of Hitler," he remarked.
Mr Kejriwal also referred to Adolf Hitler in another post today saying: "It is so important to learn from history." Hitler won because the appeal of intellectuals to unite against him was ignored in 1932, the tweet read, in an apparent reference to differences among the opposition parties trying to come against the Modi government ahead of national elections.
Its so important to learn from history ... https://t.co/0fGv4FgYgF— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) March 21, 2019
The national elections, to be held in seven phases, begin April 11 and the result will be declared on May 23.