BJP Spreads Fear and Hatred Against Minorities 24×7: Rahul Gandhi

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In a fiery speech in the Lok Sabha, the Congress leader raises issue of violence and hatred against Muslims, other minorities.

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI – The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spreads fear and hatred 24×7, Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Rahul Gandhi said here on Monday.

Armed with a copy of the Constitution and photos of religious figures, in a fiery speech in the House, Gandhi launched a fierce attack on the BJP and its ideological mentor, the RSS, claiming neither truly represented all Hindus.

“Our great men spoke about non-violence (but) those who call themselves Hindus talk only about hatred… aap Hindu ho hi nahin (you are not a Hindu),” he said.

Gandhi’s speech came amid widespread criticism of opposition leaders for their silence over the post-election surge in hate crimes including mob lynching and selective targeting of minorities, especially bulldozing of the Muslim properties in several states.

Recently, several incidents of violence against Muslims were reported from Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Telangana and Gujarat. Highlighting these incidents, activists and concerned citizens urged the opposition parties to speak up on the issue.

“You spread violence and hatred against the minorities particularly Muslims, Sikhs and Christians. What have they done? They represent the country and light up its name in every field,” said Gandhi coming down heavily on the ruling party.

“If you look at Lord Shiva’s image you know Hindus can never spread fear and hatred… but the BJP spreads fear and hatred 24×7,” Gandhi said. He also displayed images of religious leaders for which he was admonished by Speaker Om Birla – and flagged a commonality in their most popular poses – the outward-facing right hand, which is also the Congress’ symbol.

“Darao mat… daro mat… (don’t scare, don’t be scared),” Gandhi asserted, referring to the ‘abhaya mudra’ – which teaches one to dispel fear – and identical lessons he said are taught by all religions.

“The ‘abhaya mudra’ is the symbol of the Congress… it is the gesture of safety, which dispels fear and accords divine protection in Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, Buddhism and other Indian religions…” he said.

“All our great men have spoken about non-violence and finishing fear… But, those who call themselves Hindu only talk about violence, hatred, untruth,” Gandhi asserted.

Gandhi’s reference to Hinduism created a ruckus in the House as Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh hit back at the opposition leader accusing him of insulting all Hindus.

Modi rose twice to rebut the Congress leader’s remarks. “Calling the entire Hindu society violent is a serious issue…” Modi said the first time.

His second intervention drew jeers from his rivals; the prime minister declared the Constitution had taught him to respect the post of the Leader of the Opposition, which is held today by Gandhi.

After the prime minister’s terse rebuttal – to which Gandhi shouted “Modiji, BJP, and RSS is not the entire Hindu community” – Home Minister Shah took the lead.

“Leader of the Opposition categorically said those who call themselves Hindu talk of violence. He doesn’t know crores proudly call themselves Hindu… connecting violence with any religion is wrong. He should apologise,” Shah demanded.

Gandhi 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.

“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, the MP from Rae Bareli expressed pride in 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.

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