Anurag Thakur is a senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and member of Lok Sabha from Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh and currently holds the portfolios of Minister of Sports, Youth Affairs, and Minister of Information and Broadcasting. Thakur also served as a Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs. While BJP tries to distance itself from dynastic politics, ironically, Thakur is the son of Prem Kumar Dhumal, the former Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh.
During the discriminatory Citizenship Bill protest in India, Thakur led a charge from the front to demonize and dehumanize Muslims and other activists who held anti-CAA demonstrations or rallies in Delhi. During an election rally in January 2020, he openly shouted, “Desh ke gaandaron ko, Goli maro saloon ko” (Bastard traitors of the country should be shot). He said this while holding a Ministerial portfolio in Mr. Modi’s federal government. For this hateful speech, the Election Commission of India (ECI) banned Thakur for three days from campaigning.
Just after the ban got over, he announced, “When people of Delhi will cast their vote in favour of the lotus (BJP’s poll symbol)… and after the results on February 11, Shaheen Bagh (protest site) will be cleared”.
Shaheen Bagh was one of the most prominent protest sites led by Muslim women against the discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) across the country. His subsequent statements were an attempt to polarise voters of Delhi on religious lines.
In 2013, when United Progressive Alliance (UPA) was in power, Thakur called the grand old party’s chief, Sonia Gandhi, a witch and made obscene and sexist remarks against many Bollywood celebrities.