Second time in a month’s span Rahul Gandhi made bold statements on the Hinduism vs Hindutva debate even though most poll pundits and media experts have been suggesting that opposition should stay away from the religion trap and keep the focus on rozi-roti issues of the common man. The experts have also suggested that such a distinction would be futile and misplaced. Rahul Gandhi, however, has a mind of his own and is determined to fight the battle which has not been fought since 1949 when the ban on RSS was lifted.
He was speaking at the Congress’s Mehangai Hatao Rally held in Jaipur on Sunday which was a massive show of strength by the party. To have all the three Gandhis at the same event along with most of the big names in the party including Ashok Gehlot, Sachin Pilot, Kumari Sailja, Bhupinder Hooda, Kamal Nath, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhry, Bhupesh Baghel, Mallikarjun Kharge and others, was no mean feat. The party also consciously projected the rally as the poll bugle for 2024. Every leader who spoke at the event asserted that flagged from Jaipur, the rally would reach Delhi soon.
Rahul’s speech was preceded by a roar of the conch shell the shanknaad for the battle. But what is this battle? It is a lot more than just election–that was the strong and inspiring message given by Mr Gandhi at the event.
“Before I speak about how the nation’s wealth is going into 4-5 capitalists’ hands, I would like to talk about what this battle is all about? It is a battle of two words. Hindu and Hindutvavadi. I am a Hindu, but not a Hindutvavadi. Gandhiji was a Hindu, but Godse, a Hindutvavadi. A Hindu lives his entire life in search of truth, satya ki agraha. Gandhiji’s autobiography is called, ‘My experiments with truth’. He spent his whole life in understanding the truth, and in the end a Hindutvavadi shot him in the chest. Because a Hindutvavadi spends his entire life in search of Satta (Power). He does not care about truth, he only cares about power, for power he would hurt and kill anybody. His path is not of satya-graha but satta-graha,” Rahul Gandhi said.
He invoked the Hindu pride in being truthful, loving, and respectful of other religion, and rejected the hate and anger which Hindutvavadis reflect. “A true Hindu is never afraid. He does not cower before fear. But the Hindutvavadi is full of fear, and fear begets hate, anger and violence,” he said.