Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) leader Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi on Tuesday slammed Congress leader Rahul Gandhi over his Hindutvavadi remark, saying that Hindu and Hindutva are not different.
"'Hindu' and 'Hindutva' are not two different ideas. They are the same. The unnecessary controversy around this topic is an attempt to create a misconception," Joshi told ANI.
Citing an example that if a person is a Hindu, then Hindutva indicates one's character, he said, "If I am a Hindu, then Hindutva indicates my character. Therefore Hindu and Hindutva are not different things." He added, "Those who think this statement is right can find no reason to reject it. He (Gandhi) said that these two things are different. If I am a Hindu, then Hindutva indicates my character. So Hindu and Hindutva are not different things. They are one and the same thing."
"Some people are busy spreading rumours about the matter. Those who are busy raking controversies are laying the foundation stone based on rumours," Joshi said.
Joshi was attending a cultural programme in Delhi where Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh was also present.
Earlier on December 18, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi spoke about the difference between Hindu and Hindutvavadi. He said while a Hindutvavadi could be described as someone bathing alone in the Ganges, a Hindu is one who takes crores along.
Addressing a rally in Jagdishpur in his former Lok Sabha constituency of Amethi, the Congress MP said that the true meaning of a Hindu is someone who only follows the path of truth and never converts his fear into violence, hate and anger.
Addressing a rally in Rajasthan, Rahul Gandhi earlier had said India is a country of Hindus and not 'Hindutvavadis'.
Congress leader said that 'Hindutvavadis' only want power and they are in power since 2014 and urged people to throw Hindutvavadis out of power and bring back Hindus who follow the path of truth.
Speaking at the Mehangai Hatao Rally, the Wayanad MP said, "Hindutvavadis spend their entire life in search of power. They want nothing but power and can do anything for it. They follow the path of 'Sattagrah' (search of power), not 'Satyagrah' (search of truth). This country is of Hindus, not of Hindutvavadis."
"Hindutvavadis only want power and they are in power since 2014. We need to throw these Hindutvavadis out of power and bring back Hindus," he said.
"Who is Hindu? The one who embraces everybody fears nobody, and respects every religion, while a Hindutvavadi bow down before his fear," Rahul Gandhi said.
"In Indian politics today, there is a competition between two worlds -- 'Hindu' and 'Hindutvavadi'. The two words have different meanings. I am Hindu but not Hindutvavadi... Mahatma Gandhi was a Hindu but Godse was Hindutavadi," he added.
(With inputs from ANI)
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