Khurshid sparks controversy over his remark on Hindutva and ISIS; BJP, Azad slam Congress leader
Khurshid on his part sought to defend his remarks that came ahead of the upcoming Assembly elections in UP and four other states, saying he has not called the proponents of Hindutva terrorists.
NEW DELHI: Senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid sparked controversy by comparing a "robust version" of Hindutva to the jihadist Islam of terror groups such as the ISIS and Boko Haram with the BJP and also his party colleague Ghulam Nabi Azad attacking the former union minister.
While the BJP alleged that the Congress has not only hurt Hindus but also the soul of India and Azad dismissed the comparison made in Khurshid's new book as "factually wrong and an exaggeration", a Delhi-based lawyer Vivek Garg filed a complaint with the Delhi Police seeking registration of an FIR against Khurshid.
Khurshid on his part sought to defend his remarks that came ahead of the upcoming Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and four other states, saying he has not called the proponents of Hindutva terrorists.
"Hindutva, as portrayed by its proponents, is distorting religion," he told PTI when asked to comment on the controversy ignited by his remarks.
"I have not called these guys terrorists, I have just said they are similar in distorting religion. What Hindutva has done, it has pushed aside sanatan dharma and Hinduism and it has taken over a robust, aggressive position similar to Boko Haram and those other guys. I could not find anybody else that they could be similar to. I said they are similar to them, that's all, nothing to do with Hinduism," he said.
According to lawyer Garg, Khurshid, in his book 'Sunrise Over Ayodhya: Nationhood in Our Times', wrote: "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."
The book was released on Wednesday.
Azad, a former leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha and a member of the Group of 23 leaders that wrote to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi seeking organisational overhaul, tweeted, "In Mr. Salman Khursheed's new book, we may not agree with Hindutva as a political ideology distinct from composite culture of Hinduism, but comparing Hindutva with ISIS and Jihadist Islam is factually wrong and an exaggeration."
In Mr. Salman Khursheed’s new book, we may not agree with Hindutva as a political ideology distinct from composite culture of Hinduism, but comparing Hindutva with ISIS and Jihadist Islam is factually wrong and an exaggeration.— Ghulam Nabi Azad (@ghulamnazad) November 11, 2021
Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Prahlad Joshi said Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi should take action against Khurshid for "hurting the sentiments of Hindus."
"I want to ask them what action they are going to take against Khurshid who has insulted both Hindus and Hindutva. Hindutva is not a religion but a way of life," he told reporters in Dehradun .
Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narrotam Mishra alleged that Congress leaders are "practitioners of appeasement politics."
Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters here, BJP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia said Khurshid's book on Ayodhya hurts religious sentiments of people.
"In the book Khurshid has compared Hindus to ISIS and Boko Haram. It is an attempt not just to hurt the feelings of the Hindus but to hurt India's soul," he said, adding, "the Congress party is like a poisonous spider which is weaving web against Hindus."
Condemning Khurshid's remarks, Bhatia alleged that the Congress party's "ideology and principle is to spread hatred against the Hindu community and to ill-treat the Hindus."
Alleging that this is happening at the behest of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, Bhatia questioned her silence on the issue and said: "If you remain silent, then it will be clear that your ideology is also against Hindus."
Demanding Khurshid's removal from the Congress, the BJP spokesperson said, "Earlier, the term 'Hindu terrorism' was invented when the Congress was in power."
BJP IT cell head Amit Malviya in a tweet highlighted a paragraph of the book and said, "Congress's Salman Khurshid in his new book writes that Hindutva is similar to the jihadist Islamist groups like ISIS and Boko Haram.
What else can we expect from someone whose party coined the term Saffron terror just to draw equivalence with Islamic jihad, to get Muslim votes?" Lawyer Garg said Khurshid made the remarks in a chapter called 'The Saffron Sky' (page-113).
Garg's complaint was addressed to the Delhi Police Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner of Police (North) and the SHO of Roop Nagar police station seeking registration of an FIR in the matter under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code(IPC).
When contacted, a senior police officer said, "We have received a complaint on Thursday but are verifying the allegations made by the complainant. Accordingly, action will be taken as per law."
Minister Mishra said that whether it is Salman Khurshid or Digvijaya Singh they write controversial books to create controversy.
"Because all of them are practitioners of appeasement politics. The kind of alienation and feeling of separation they generate, no one else does it," Mishra told reporters in Indore.
"Whether it is Congress party's men or Gandhi family, they are the supporters of 'Tukde-Tukde' gang in the country," he added.