Hinduism and Hindutva are different: Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi said the RSS has overshadowed the Congress ideology. “Today whether we like it or not, the divisive, hateful ideology of the RSS-BJP has overshadowed the loving, affectionate and nationalistic ideology of the Congress. We have to accept it. Our ideology is alive, it’s vibrant but it has been overshadowed.”
Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi, Nov 13 : After a controversy erupted over remarks made by senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid in his new book ‘Sunrise Over Ayodhya: Nationhood in Our Times’, the Congress seems to have got into more trouble with Rahul Gandhi saying that Hinduism and Hindutva are different things.

Speaking virtually at a party function he said, “Is there something common between Hindutva and Hinduism, what is the difference between Hinduism and Hindutva. If they are the same why they have different names — why then use name of Hinduism, and not Hindutva.”

He asked “is there something common between what Guru Nanak, Kabir, Gandhiji and King Ashoka said about the Hindutva ideology? The difference between Hinduism as we know it & Hindutva? Are they same thing? Can they be same thing? They are obviously two different things.”

Rahul Gandhi said the RSS has overshadowed the Congress ideology. “Today whether we like it or not, the divisive, hateful ideology of the RSS-BJP has overshadowed the loving, affectionate and nationalistic ideology of the Congress. We have to accept it. Our ideology is alive, it’s vibrant but it has been overshadowed.”

He said we have to train groups of people who have understanding of the ideology and connect with the issues and we have to explore and understand and develop a group of people who understand the difference between these and apply these differences to issues.

The debate on Hindutva is already in the public domain and the Congress is facing flak from the BJP. A passage from a chapter titled ‘The Saffron Sky’ from Khurshid’s book reads: “Sanatan Dharma and classical Hinduism known to sages and saints were being pushed aside by a robust version of Hindutva, by all standards a political version similar to the jihadist Islam of groups like ISIS and Boko Haram of recent years.”

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad disagreed and said in a statement, “We do not agree with Hindutva as political ideology distinct from composite culture of Hinduism, but comparing Hindutva with ISIS and Jehadi Islamist is factually wrong and an exaggeration.”

Meanwhile, Vineet Jindal, a Delhi-based lawyer, on Thursday filed a complaint with the police against Khurshid for the remarks made in his book, demanding an FIR be lodged against Khurshid under Sections 153, 153A, 298 and 505(2) of the Indian Penal Code.

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