File Photo- Prashant D.
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat today came under attack from political parties including Congress and Samajwadi Party for his controversial remarks that India is a Hindu nation and Hindutva is its identity.
Coming down heavily on Bhagwat, senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh, in a series of tweets, described the RSS chief as "Hitler" and said the Sangh should stop "fooling" innocent people by using religion in politics.
"I thought we had one Hitler in making but it seems now we have Two ! God save India!" Singh, also a known detractor of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, tweeted.
A day after the RSS chief made controversial remarks in Mumbai, Singh asked, "A question to Mohan Bhagwat - Is Hindutva a religious identity ? What is its relationship with Sanatan Dharma ?
Is a person who believes in Islam, Christianity, Sikh Budhism, Jainism or any other religion also a Hindu ? Would Mohan Bhagwatji pl clarify ?"
Wondering does word Hindu or Hindutava figure in any of our Veda, Upanishad, Gita, Puran or any other of our religious scripture?" Singh also tweeted.
"RSS should stop fooling the innocent people by using religion in politics. We are proud of our Sanatan Dharm and its tolerance towards others," he said.
Hitting out at Bhagwat, Samajwadi Party accused the Sangh of practising politics of "hatred and separatism."
"They use such words and language to fan social tension," SP spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary said.
Referring to various controversial statements from union ministers and leaders of BJP and VHP, Congress leader Manish Tewari alleged that there was a "concerted efforts" to polarise the country on religious lines.
"It is very evident that with the active connivance of the Central government there is an attempt of religious polarisation...The cultural identity of India is not of a monolithic state. India is not Pakistan," he said.
Bhagwat, who was in Mumbai yesterday to attend golden jubilee celebrations of the VHP, had said, "Hindustan is a Hindu nation. Hindutva is the identity of our nation and it (Hinduism) can incorporate others (religions) in itself."
Criticising Bhagwat's remarks, Congress spokesman Anand Sharma said, "There have been ominous signs of communal terror, violence and polarisation."
"This also confirms that BJP and RSS speak with forked tongue and lack sincerity and conviction towards what Prime Minister Narendra Modi said from ramparts of Red Fort," he told PTI.
The former Union Minister said Bhagwat and RSS need to be reminded that Hinduism is a rich philosophy and culture and equating it with Hindutva, "the doctrine of (Vinayak Damodar) Savarkar and RSS", is belittling the philosophy and richness of Hinduism.
"RSS does not have proprietary right over the Hindus or their faith which is tolerant and all embracing," Sharma said.
Noting that India belongs to all people who live here and call it their motherland, the Congress leader said, "India's pluralism and its character as a multi-cultural, multi-lingual and multi-religious secular nation must be upheld and protected."
The Aam Aadmi Party also attacked the BJP saying the saffron party's endorsement of the statement made by Bhagwat was "dangerous".
In a statement, the party said, "Statement made by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat that India is a Hindu nation and Hindutva can assimilate other religions into it, is a dangerous indication of things to come. BJP's endorsement of the statement made by Mohan Bhagwat is even more dangerous."
It also alleged that from the day the Modi government assumed power, the RSS and its frontal organisations have been trying hard to stoke communal hatred.
"The BJP and the Sangh Parivar wants to repeat the Muzaffarnagar experiment in other parts of the country as well," it added.
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