Godse preached Hindutva, says Congress amid row over Salman Khurshid's book
Amid the ongoing row over Hindutva and Hinduism centring the recently launched book of senior Congress leaders Salman Khurshid, the Congress on Thursday said Nathuram Godse who killed Mahatma Gandhi was the preacher of Hindutva that spreads violence. Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh said the difference between Hinduism and Hindutva is the same as that between Mahatma Gandhi and Nathuram Godse, as the former preached Hindu religion and spread harmony and non-violence, PTI reported.
The recent book of Salman Khurshid on the Supreme Court's Ayodhya verdict has stirred controversy as the writer has been accused of equating Hindustva with ISID and Boko Haram. "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," a chapter of the book titled 'The Saffron Sky' reads.
While senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad disagreed with the writer, many Congress leaders sought to clarify the difference between Hindutva and Hinduism. Congress leader Manish Tewari recently tweeted that religion is a private identity which shoud not be used in politics. "... I believe in Nehruvian ideal that religion is a private space activity. Everyone has the right to practice, profess and propagate their religion in their private lives. In public domain, there should be a strict separation of the Church and State. I am a Hindu, I worship my God but that is not my politics," Tewari tweeted.
Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh explained that Hindutva is what Mahatma Gandhi preached. "In the last 200 years, who is the greatest practising Hindu in our country -- Mahatma Gandhi Ji. What Mahatma Gandhi Ji preached and gave is called as Hindu Dharma and what Nathuram Godse practised is called Hindutva. It is as simple as this," he said.
"Godse did not understand what the Rig Veda says and he only understood exclusiveness, while Gandhi's Hindu religion understood inclusiveness. Godse's Hindu religion is Hindutva and that does not understand those who talk of respect for all religions and Vaudhaiva Kutumbakam and that is why he shot and killed him," he said.