Hindutva and Hinduism row: Two different concepts, says Rahul Gandhi; BJP responds
He said his party's ideology is like a "beautiful jewel" with an unending power inside it, but it has been overshadowed by the BJP, and maintained Hindu and Hindutva are different concepts.
The stir over Salman Khurshid's new book is simmering with reactions from the Congress and the BJP. Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday said that Hindutva and Hinduism are two different things and stressed upon the need to explore and understand such differences. He said his party's ideology is like a "beautiful jewel" with an unending power inside it, but it has been overshadowed by the BJP, and maintained Hindu and Hindutva are different concepts.
Speaking at an online four-day 'AICC orientation programme, Rahul Gandhi further said that if crystallised, the Congress ideology which is alive and vibrant will envelope that of the BJP-RSS, and emphasised on strengthening his party's ideas within the organisation and spreading them across the country.
Gandhi asked if Hinduism is about persecuting people of a different faith, while asserting that Hindutva “of course” is about that. He said, "We have to accept that there are two ideologies in India — the Congress ideology and the RSS ideology. We have to accept the BJP-RSS has spread hatred in today's India." The former Congress president said there has been "complete capture" of the media by the saffron outfit, PTI reported.
"The BJP has overshadowed the loving, affectionate and nationalistic ideology of the Congress Party. Our ideology is alive and vibrant, but it has been overshadowed by the BJP," said the Lok Sabha MP from Wayanad in Kerala, the report added.
Earlier in the day, stoking a fresh controversy, Congress leader Rashid Alvi said that 'not all people who chant Jai Shri Ram are saints' and he equated 'Ram Bhakts' with 'nisachar' (demon). "Jo Jai Shri Ram ka naara lagate hai wo sab muni nahi, wo nisachar hai. Aise logon se saavdhan rehne ki jarurat hai. (Those who say Jai Shri Ram are not saints, they are demons. Need to be alert)," Alvi said at an event.
Taking a retort at the Congress leader Alvi, BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra on Friday said that their pathological hatred for Hinduism in the Congress party, was being spread at the behest on Rahul Gandhi. Listing out a series of actions, which the party claimed are detrimental to interests of Hindus, that there is an anti-Hindu lobby within the Congress.
Raising the remarks raised Congress leader Rashid Alvi who equated 'Ram Bhakts' with 'nisachar' or demon, the BJP claimed that within 24 hours, Hinduism had been attacked thrice by the Congress Party.