SALMAN KHURSHID BOOK: RAHUL GANDHI WEIGHS IN ON HINDU-HINDUTVA DEBATE

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi stated that Hinduism and Hindutva are two different things and asserted that people should explore the differences. He was referring to the recent book that was published by Salman Khurshid, where he equates BJP’s Hindutva with radical Islamic groups like the Islamic State and Boko Haram of Nigeria in his latest book ‘Sunrise Over Ayodhya’. The BJP has slammed the Congress for such a comparison, with leaders from the ruling party taking to social media regarding the statement. However, the Congress leader has explained his side of the story while virtually addressing an orientation session in Wardha. “It is important to understand why we find ourselves in the situation where we find ourselves. Today, whether we like it or not, we have to accept that the divisive ideology of the RSS and the BJP has overshadowed the loving, affectionate and nationalistic ideology of the Congress. Our ideology is alive and vibrant but it is overshadowed,” he said at the event. 

 

While asking repeated questions pointing out to Hinduism not being equal to Hindutva, Gandhi asserted that the latter meant division and communalism. “What is the difference between Hinduism, as we know it, and Hindutva? Are they the same thing? Can they be the same thing? If they are the same thing, why don’t they have the same name? Why do they have different names? Why do we use the word Hinduism, why just not use the word Hindutva, if they are the same thing? They are obviously different things,” he said. “And these are things we have to start to explore and understand, and develop a group of people… who deeply understand these differences, who can apply these differences to issues, to behaviours, to actions,” he added. He continued to saying how Hindutva is about ‘beating a Sikh or Muslim’ or ‘killing Akhlaq’, but Hinduism wasn’t. Several other leaders have stated similar arguments regarding the controversy. 

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