On Monday, Telangana Minister K T Rama Rao targeted the central government over the backlash from the Gulf national and condemn the controversial remarks of former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Nupur Sharma against Prophet Muhammad.
Rao, popularly known as KTR, posted a series of tweets today and questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi why India as a country should apologise for the "hate speeches of BJP bigots".
KTR also tagged PM Modi in his tweets and said that his party should apologise to Indians at home for "spewing and spreading hatred day in day out".
KTR's statement comes soon after the BJP issued a statement saying it respects all the religion and strongly denounces insult of any religious personalities of any religion.
The saffron party also said that it is against any ideology which insults or demeans any sect or religion, and that it does not promote such people or philosophy.
The BJP's remarks come in the wake of stiff protests by Muslims against its spokesperson Nupur Sharma for her comment on Prophet Muhammad.
The Constitution of India does not provide for a state religion. Article 25(1) states, "Subject to public order, morality and health and to the other provisions of this Part, all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practise and propagate religion".
Article 19 gives all citizens the right to freedom of speech and expression but subject to "reasonable restrictions" for preserving inter alia "public order, decency or morality". Article 28 prohibits any religious instruction in any educational institution wholly maintained out of state funds.
India prohibits hate speech by several sections of the Indian Penal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure, and by other laws which put limitations on the freedom of expression.
Section 95 of the Code of Criminal Procedure gives the government the right to declare certain publications “forfeited” if the “publication ... appears to the State Government to contain any matter the publication of which is punishable under Section 124A or Section 153A or Section 153B or Section 292 or Section 293 or Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code”.