Home Minister P Chidambaram on Saturday said he had no intention to hurt the sentiments of Muslims by his recent remarks equating 'jihad' to terrorism and said he was "happy to stand corrected."
"I may assure you that there was no intention to hurt the sentiments of anyone in the Muslim community," Chidambaram said in a letter to M H Jawahirullah, president of Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam (TMMK), who had objected to his remarks on jihad.
He said as a "devout Muslim," Jawahirullah was more informed about the teachings of Islam and the true meaning of the word 'jihad.'
Pointing out that the words 'jihad' and 'jihadi' are in common parlance used to describe militant activities and militants in different parts of the world, including India, Chidambaram said he had used the word as it is used in common parlance.
"Like others,I used the word as it is used in common parlance, and I am happy to stand corrected," he said in his letter.
He said leaders of terror outfits like Al-Qaeda and Lashkar-E-Taiba used the word "jihad" on more than one occasion. In a conversation between one of the terrorists who had attacked Mumbai in 2008 and his handler in Pakistan, the word jihad was used,"
Chidambaram said adding the father of Abdulmutallab, who had planned to blow up an American plane, had reportedly said his son had come under the influence of jihadist version of Islam that he did not recognise.
In his address at the 22nd Intelligence Bureau Centenary Endowment Lecture in December, Chidambaram had said that even as the Cold War came to an end, another kind of war, 'jihad', had emerged. Jihad employed terror as an instrument to achieve its objectives and directed against all and sundry, with its victims being innocent people, he had said.
In a letter to Chidambaram recently, the TMMK president had said jihad was striving against injustice and falsehood and did not teach advocte that this should be done through violence.