Salman Khurshid Defends Hindutva-ISIS Hyphenation, Says Attack Proves His Point

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Salman Khursheed. — File photo

If you want to see what Hindutva does, see the burnt door in my Nainital home’

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI — Salman Khurshid, the former union minister and senior Congress leader, has stood firm on his stand on Ayodhya even after Hindutva extremists attacked and torched a portion of his home in Nainital, Uttarakhand.

Right-wing Hindus are up in arm against Khurshid’s latest book ‘Sunrise Over Ayodhya’ in which he has compared the Hindutva movement with terror outfits like ISIS and Boko Haram.

In an interview to India Today news channel, Khurshid says those who disagree with him have proved him right as they “have gone to the extent of burning down the front door of my house in Nainital”.

“The validity of my statement is apparent now by what they have done. Not simply linguistically abusing on the phone and social media but actually physically attacking one’s home,” he said.

Khurshid put out visuals on Facebook which showed a charred door, flames, broken window of home in the scenic town in Uttarakhand. Two men putting water to douse the flames can also be seen in the video.

Another video that surfaced on social media shows the goons assemble outside the house and shout slogans like ‘Jai Shri Ram’, ‘Jai Bajarangi’ and ‘Desh ke Gaddaaron ko, goli maaro salon ko’.

Khurshid told India Today anchor Rajdeep Sardesai he has not said that Hindutva and ISIS are identical but there is similarity in the sense that extremist groups resort to misuse of religion.

“If I can say that about jihadist Islam… Islam is my religion; why am I prevented from saying this for someone else misusing his or her religion? I can recount similarities for the whole day but my purpose is not to highlight lynchings and rapes; my purpose is to forgive and move forward,” he said, explaining that he supported Ayodhya judgment because the “purpose is to unite all religions”.

When questioned why he was “damning” Hindutva which even the Supreme Court called a way of life, the senior Congress leader retorted: “Shall I just surrender to Hindutva, someone who misuses religion?”

He boasted about the “clear, categorical, ideological” stand of his party leadership on the dichotomy of Hindutva and Hinduism which “are two different things and that’s why they have two different names. One believes in killing innocent people, the other believes in composite culture.”

Amidst the raging debate, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday said that the ideology of his party is like a “beautiful jewel” while “BJP-RSS has spread hatred in today’s India.”

The former party president said that the party’s ideology is vibrant but overshadowed by BJP “because of complete capture of the media and complete capture of the Indian nation”.

However, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad was critical of Khurshid’s observation, calling the comparison an “exaggeration”.

“We may not agree with Hindutva as a political ideology but comparing it with ISIS and Jihadist Islam is factually wrong and exaggeration,” Azad said.

Khurshid said he disagrees with Azad’s take on his book.

“When he says I have exaggerated, I assume there’s something that I have exaggerated. What’s that something? If you want to see what Hindutva does, see the burnt door in my Nainital home.”

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