‘BJP, RSS, Modi are not the entire Hindu society,’ says Rahul Gandhi; ‘Jibe on violence is serious matter,’ says PM

Rahul Gandhi took a swipe at the BJP saying those who call themselves Hindus are engaged in "violence and hate" around the clock.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jul 01, 2024 | 5:14 PM Updated Jul 01, 2024 | 5:14 PM

Rahul Gandhi speaking at the Lok Sabha.

During his first speech as the leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Rahul Gandhi attacked the ruling BJP while showing a picture of Lord Shiva, which prompted Speaker Om Birla to remind him that rules do not allow displaying placards in the House.

Gandhi took a swipe at the BJP in the Lok Sabha on Monday, 1 July, saying those who call themselves Hindus are engaged in “violence and hate” around the clock, drawing massive protests from the members of the treasury benches with Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserting that calling the entire Hindu society violent is a serious matter.

Gandhi, however, retorted that he was speaking about the BJP.

The BJP, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) or Modi are not the entire Hindu society, he added.

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Cites religious teachings

The Congress leader also showed a picture of Lord Shiva and said his message is about fearlessness and non-violence. He also cited the teachings of other religions to make a similar point.

Rahul Gandhi said in the House, “Abhayamudra is the symbol of the Congress…The Abhayamudra is the gesture of fearlessness, the gesture of reassurance and safety, which dispels fear and accords divine protection and bliss in Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, Buddhism and other Indian religions… All our great men have spoken about non-violence and finishing fear… But, those who call themselves Hindu only talk about violence, hatred, untruth…you are not Hindus.”

However, his dig at the BJP that it does not represent all Hindus and jab at the ruling party by citing the essence of different religions had the members of the treasury benches on their feet.

Home minister seeks apology

Home Minister Amit Shah sought Gandhi’s apology to the House and the country for hurting the feelings of crores of people who take pride in identifying themselves as Hindus.

Shah spoke of the Emergency and 1984 anti-Sikhs riots to hit back at Gandhi, saying he had no right to talk about non-violence when the Congress had spread “terror” in the country.

Gandhi further emphasised that all religions talk about courage, citing Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism to underline the importance of fearlessness.

He accused the BJP of launching systematic attacks on the Constitution and the fundamental idea of India, noting that millions of people have resisted the ideas proposed by the ruling party.

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‘I was attacked’

“I was attacked on the orders of Prime Minister Modi. There were 20-plus cases (against me), (my) house was taken away, 55 hours of interrogation by the ED,” Gandhi said.

Despite these challenges, he said he feels proud of the collective effort to protect the Constitution. “It feels nice that BJP people are now repeating ‘Jai Samvidhan’ after me,” he said.

Gandhi also expressed his contentment at being in the Opposition.

“I am happy and proud to be in the Opposition. For us, there is something more than power, it is the truth,” he said.

Gandhi reiterated that all religions, including Hinduism, Islam and Sikhism, emphasise courage and the importance of being fearless.

Meanwhile, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said her brother did not insult Hindus but was talking about the saffron party and its leaders.

“He cannot insult Hindus. He said it very clearly. He talked about the BJP, he talked about BJP leaders,” Priyanka Gandhi said while leaving the Parliament building along with her mother Sonia Gandhi.

The Congress, in a post on X, said ” Narendra Modi is not the entire Hindu society. BJP is not the entire Hindu society. RSS is not the entire Hindu society. BJP does not have the contract of Hindu society.”

(With inputs from PTI, Nolan Patrick Pinto )

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