Swami Avimukteshwaranand Defends Rahul, Says He Didn’t Insult Hindu Religion


Rahul Gandhi’s Lok Sabha speech has led to a furore, with the right-wing ecosystem targeting him as anti-Hindu

CALCUTTA – Swami Avimukteshwaranand Saraswati of Uttarakhand’s Jyotish Peeth has come out in Rahul Gandhi’s defence days after the Congress leader launched a blistering attack on the BJP and the RSS on the floor of the Lok Sabha.

Rahul Gandhi’s remark has led to a furore, with the right-wing ecosystem targeting him as anti-Hindu, reported The Telegraph.

“After I was told Rahul Gandhi had insulted the Hindu religion, I went through his speech and I found he had done no such thing,” Avimukteshwaranand was seen telling newspersons on Sunday in a video that is doing the rounds on social media.

“He is saying violence has no place in Hindu religion. If he is saying so, then distorting his speech, picking out sentences out of context and spreading them is a crime and those indulging in it should be punished.”

On July 1, making his first speech at the Lok Sabha after becoming leader of Opposition, holding an image of Lord Shiva, Rahul told the assembled members of Parliament, “Lord Shiva says don’t be afraid and don’t make others afraid. He shows the fearless posture, talks about non-violence… and those who call themselves Hindus, they talk about violence, hatred and falsehood round the clock.”

Such was the force of Rahul’s no-holds-barred speech that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had to intervene twice and Union home minister Amit Shah five times.

“This is very serious. Calling the entire Hindu society violent is very serious,” Modi stood up and told Speaker Om Birla.

Once Shah even pleaded with the Lok Sabha Speaker to give them – BJP members – protection and accused him of bias towards the Opposition, something that no one had accused Birla of in the previous Lok Sabha.

“I’m referring to the BJP and you… no, no, Narendra Modi doesn’t make up the whole of Hindu society, nor does the BJP or the RSS,” Rahul said, emphasising that the Sangh Parivar did not have monopoly over the Hindu religion.

The speech created an uproar, the ripple effects of which spread far and wide, including to Gujarat’s Ahmedabad where the Congress headquarters came under attack from right-wing goons, prompting Rahul to visit the state on Saturday.

Swami Avimukteshwaranand unequivocally stated that it was wrong to target the Rae Bareli MP for something that he had never said.

“He was categorical in saying that Hindus cannot indulge in violence. Later on he clarified that he was referring to the members of another political party, the party in government. He told them you spread violence and hatred. He was only referring to a particular political party, not the Hindu society,” the swami said.

In January ahead of the consecration of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya which was performed by Modi, Swami Avimukteshwaranand Saraswati and Swami Nishchalananda Saraswati of the Govardhan Math in Odisha had refused to attend the ceremony, saying that consecration of any incomplete temple was against Hindu scriptures

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