Describing ‘Hindu’ and ‘Hindutva’ as two different terms, Rahul Gandhi had said Mahatma Gandhi was a Hindu and his assassin Nathuram Godse was a Hindutvadi.

Hyderabad MP and AIMIM chief Asaduddin OwaisiFile photo: Facebook/Asaduddin Owaisi
news Politics Monday, December 13, 2021 - 15:25
Written by  IANS

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's comment that India is a country of Hindus and his definition differentiating between Hindu and Hindutva has triggered a major controversy. Hitting out, AIMIM chief and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi took to Twitter and said, "Rahul & INC fertilised the ground for Hindutva. Now they're trying to harvest majoritarianism. Bringing 'Hindus to power' is a 'secular' agenda in 2021. Wah! India belongs to all Bharatiyas. Not Hindus alone. India belongs to people of all faiths & also those who have no faith (sic)."

Elaborating the difference between Hindu and Hindutvawadi, Rahul Gandhi at a Jaipur rally on Sunday, December 12, said, “Two words cannot mean the same thing. Every word has a different meaning. In our country's politics today, the meaning of Hindu and Hindutva is the same. These are not the same thing, they are two different words and they mean completely different things. I am a Hindu but not a Hindutvawadi. Mahatma Gandhi was a Hindu and Nathuram Godse was a Hindutvawadi,” he added.

“No matter whatever happens, Hindu seeks and spends his whole life in search of truth whereas Hindutva spends his whole life in search of power and getting empowered. He will kill anyone for the sake of power. The path of Hindu is 'Satyagraha' while the path of Hindutva is 'Sattagraha',” Rahul Gandhi said.

Clarifying Rahul's comments, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said, "A person who believes in truth, non-violence, love, brotherhood and tolerance is a Hindu. Hindus do not hate anyone and respect all religions. However, Hindutva believes in spreading violence, intolerance and hatred. The difference between a Hindu and a Hindutvawadi is the same as that between Gandhi and Godse," he said.

Gehlot further said, "In a real sense, Hindus believe in truth, non-violence and harmony. Bigotry and extremism is not acceptable in any religion. Rahul Gandhi's thinking is that the politics of hatred and violence being done by BJP-RSS in the name of Hindutva by spoiling the basic nature of Hindu religion should be ended in the interest of the country."

The BJP too, attacked the Congress after Rahul Gandhi's speech and said that his perception of Hindu and Hindutva is beyond comprehension. BJP leader Satish Poonia said, "Rahul Gandhi gave a strange interpretation of Hindu and Hindutva. Everyone knows that Hindu philosophy is a way of life, it is a matter of pride for any Indian to be Hindu and Hindutvawadi."

"This peculiar interpretation of Rahul Gandhi about Hinduism and Hindutva is beyond comprehension. We are all proud to be Hindus and Hindutvawadi. The way Rahul tried to create a divide seems that he is against Hindus, Hindutva and nationalism," he further added.

Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat also attacked Rahul Gandhi for his comments and said that Rahul Gandhi did not know the difference between Hindu, Hindutva and Hindutvawadi.