Rahul Gandhi's Hindu vs Hindutva jibe: It was time someone called a spade a spade

The Congress leader emphatically explained difference between being a Hindu and a Hindutvavadi. In a way, He re-emphasised the secular philosophy of Hinduism which is part of the Congress' ideology

Rahul Gandhi's Hindu vs Hindutva jibe: It was time someone called a spade a spade

Prakash Bhandari

The Congress Jaipur rally turned into a historic rally with the Congress leader, Rahul Gandhi categorically defining the difference between Hinduism and Hindutvavad. It was a rally beyond the price rise and inflation and the failure of Narendra Modi’s government to reduce the oil price.

Rahul Gandhi chose the Jaipur event to attack Modi and the RSS. The well-worded definition of the Hinduism and Hindutva was explained in simple and deft way by Rahul Gandhi which made clear how the two words have influenced the country’s polity. He said Hindu and Hindutva are two different words with two different meanings.

Rahul Gandhi said while the Hindus remain loyal to the people, culture and religion and are symbolic of truth, the Hindutvavadis just want political power.

Rahul very firmly stressed on the difference between the Hindus and Hindutvavadi. It was also apparent from the number of times he used both the words in his speech. He used the word Hindus 35 times and Hindutvavadis 26 times in his 31 minutes of address in the rally. And he drew a big applause from about a lakh of the crowd.

“I am Hindu, but am not Hindutvavadi. Mahatma Gandhi was a Hindu, but Nathuram Godse who killed the Mahatma was a Hindutvavadi. A Hindu always search for the truth, even at the cost of his life....While the quest of a Hindu is for “Satya”, the Hindutvavadi always look for “Satta (power)”.

He said a Hindutvavadi would always crave for “Satta (power)” all his life and could kill anybody to wrest power. A Hindu would adopt the path of Satyagraha peacefully, while a Hindutvavadi will always look for 'Sattagrah' (lust for power).”

The reason why Rahul chose to make a distinction between a Hindu and Hindutvavad was clear. Congress has faced the allegation of appeasement for years and has been dubbed notoriously by the BJP as a party that appeases Muslims for votes. He made it clear in his speech that the ideology of the Congress is all-encompassing, whereas, the ruling party's agenda is full of hate and violence and is always aimed at winning votes of the majority community.

Just after the Independence, when the country had its first democratic elections, the Congress came to power with the support of not only Hindus and Muslims, but also with the support of the Christians and the Buddhists and many others. But later, the BJP started questioning the secular policy of the Congress and dubbed it as a party that supports Muslims.

The Jaipur rally which was basically a rally to raise the people’s voice against the price rise turned into mega event and became the party’s launchpad for the election campaign for the upcoming assembly elections in five states.

Rahul Gandhi, through his clear distinction between Hindu and Hindutva also indicated that though the BJP claims to be a Hindu political outfit, its Hindutvavadi acts have always been questionable. He said Narendra Modi believes in stabbing from the back.

The rally was initially scheduled to be organised in Delhi on December 12, but the withdrawal of the permission by the Delhi police forced the AICC to shift the rally from Delhi to Jaipur.

The shift in venue also changed the tenor of the party leaders. The party leaders were clear and strong in their attack on the ruling BJP with Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi making scathing remarks on the style and functioning of the Modi government.

Rahul also said the country comprises of farmers and small traders, who could create jobs which the Ambanis and Adanis can never create.

Prior to Rahul Gandhi’s address, Priyanka also blamed the Modi government for working to benefit only a few business families of the country. She said the Modi government thrives on lies, greed and loot.

Priyanka Gandhi dubbed the Prime Minister as a tourist, whose only job is touring the world. She said he has time to visit various nations but had no time to meet the agitating farmers.

She raised slogans for removing poverty and unabated price rise in the country and she was joined by the crowd in the chant.

Rahul’s plain-speaking was also a hint to all secular parties that the Congress still stands on its secular agenda without losing the faith of the Hindus.

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