Ram Shankar Katheria, the BJP MP from Agra who is also minister of state for human resource development, courted fresh controversy recently when he declared education in India would be subject to "saffronisation," which is "beneficial" for the country.
Katheria, who had been in trouble earlier this year for a speech that reportedly targeted Muslims, was speaking at Lucknow University on Saturday on the occasion of the Hindavi Swaraj Diwas Samaroh, marking the 342nd coronation year of Shivaji.
Katheria was quoted by the Hindu as saying: "If we do not study the history of Maharana Pratap and Shivaji Maharaj then will we study the history of Genghis Khan?"
Many political leaders rebuked Katheria for his comments. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Ashutosh said the Bharatiya Janata Party ( BJP) was interested in nothing but vote-bank politics.
A defiant Katheria subsequently dismissed the outrage as an ongoing conspiracy to malign the image of "bhagwa" (saffron), but then backtracked on his comments.
"I just said whatever is good for the nation, we'll accept that; whether its Bhagwakaran (saffronisation) or green or red colourm" Katheria said.
Apart from his recent comments and an alleged hate speech earlier this year that suggested a "final battle" against Muslims, Katheria had also courted controversy when he had said controversial subjects would be removed from history textbooks.
This was in connection to reports that suggested removal of references to Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru from Class VIII textbooks in Rajasthan and other similar reports that suggested removal of other historical icons from the Class IX school textbook of Tripura and introducing "Adolf Hitler" as a subject.
"Not all states have a BJP government. But wherever questions have been raised regarding school syllabus, we have got them inquired. Only subjects that are right and enhance the pride of our nation will be allowed to be taught and all that which are controversial will be removed," he was quoted as saying by the Times of India.