Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday sent a copy of Adolf Hitler''s autobiography ''Mein Kampf'' to SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal, advising him to read the book to understand the "dangerous implications" of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief in turn said the Punjab chief minister had chosen to learn his history lessons from ''Mein Kampf'' instead of dozens of books written by Sikhs recounting state sponsored attack on the Golden Temple and genocide of the Sikh community in 1984.
Amarinder Singh, in a statement here, said given the current attempts by the Centre to "replicate Hitler''s agenda" in India, it was important for the SAD leaders to read the former German Chancellor''s autobiography before coming out with "irrational reactions" on the CAA.
The recent statements of various Akali leaders, including Badal, "exposed their ignorance" on the sensitive issue, said Amarinder Singh, urging the SAD chief to read the book and decide "whether it''s country first or political expediency".
"Supporting the bill in both houses of Parliament and in the Vidhan Sabha and opposing it on other platforms is unbecoming of a political leader," the chief minister said in a letter sent to Badal along with the book.
In the letter, Amarinder Singh recalled that during the last Vidhan Sabha session, he had promised to send the SAD copies of ''Mein Kampf'', which in English translates to ''my struggles.''
"These were his (Hitler''s) beliefs which he sold to the German people in his rise to power, which later became his government''s policy when his Nazi party assumed office," wrote the chief minister.
"Apart from destroying Germany in World War 2, to fulfil his territorial ambition, from the time he assumed office in 1933 to the end of the war in 1945, his purification of the German race by his ethnic cleansing, led initially to the removal of his main opposition, the communist parties, followed by persecution of the intellectuals, and finally to the extermination of the Jews," he wrote.
"Read the book, as one always learns from history. The world has changed and our television and other media are powerful, and certainly different to that of Germany in the thirties under Joseph Goebbels. Nevertheless, the talk of camps and a national register to eliminate the Muslim and Jewish communities is ominous," Amarinder Singh further wrote.
While some of the political parties, including the Congress, were protesting everyday along with university students across the country, "it is time now that others, too, join this movement," he wrote.
Meanwhile, taking a jibe at the chief minister, Badal said he would soon be sending him a bundle of books written by prominent Sikh scholars detailing how the Congress party and its first family had "planned and engineered" attack on ''Harmandar Sahib'' as well as the "mass killing" of Sikhs in Delhi and other parts of the country.
"I am sure these books will refresh your memory and remove the selective amnesia which has clouded your mind. Please do give the books space in your library and read them also. You will never again give inane suggestions to anyone," he said.
"This gift of books could also force you to have a change of mind and forsake servility towards the Gandhi family and make you more sensitive towards the suffering of your own community," added Badal.
Earlier in the day, the chief minister had attacked the SAD claiming that the party was not quitting the NDA at the Centre to save Harsimrat Kaur Badal''s chair in the Union cabinet, a day after the Akali Dal accused Amarinder Singh of making the Gandhi family happy to "save" his chair.
Following the SAD''s decision to not contest the Delhi assembly polls on being told by the BJP to change its stance over the amended Citizenship Act, Amarinder Singh had on Tuesday too dared the party to quit the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
However, the SAD chief had asked him not to issue "ridiculous" statements which only exposed his "subservience" to the Gandhi family and his desire to make the "family happy to save" his chair.
Amarinder Singh had then asked Badal to explain how his demand for the Akalis to quit the NDA over the CAA amounted to "subservience" to the Gandhi family.
In response, Sukhbir has offered to send across books to “refresh the CM’s memory” of how his party, the Congress, and its first family — a veiled reference to the Gandhis — “planned and engineered” the attack on the Sri Harmandar Sahib as well as mass killing of Sikhs in Delhi.
Taking a dig at the chief minister being a ‘Maharaja’, Sukhbir has also asked Amarinder to read the play Andher Nagari Chaupat Raja by Bhartendu Harishchandra to understand what his three-year rule in the state has come to.