Hindutva-Hinduism debate splits Congress leadership

Senior leader and MP Manish Tewari said that Congress might have started a slide down on a slippery slope by deviating from the Nehruvian ideal of secularism.

Published: 18th November 2021 08:05 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th November 2021 08:05 AM   |  A+A-

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra at Matgajendra Nath Shiv Mandir in Madhya Pradesh's Chitrakoot

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra at Matgajendra Nath Shiv Mandir in Madhya Pradesh's Chitrakoot. (File photo| PTI)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: As the Hindutva vs Hinduism debate rages in Congress following former party chief Rahul Gandhi's recent comments, there is a split in the leadership. Some are worried that the party should avoid getting into this debate ahead of Assembly elections while others feel the party needs to talk about it to remain electorally relevant in its fight against BJP.

Rahul's comments that killing innocent people is not Hinduism but Hindutva invited wrath from various fronts. But crucially, his own party now appears divided over the matter. Senior leader and MP Manish Tewari said that Congress might have started a slide down on a slippery slope by deviating from the Nehruvian ideal of secularism and that he was confused about the Hinduism vs Hindutva debate.

"In the Hinduism Versus Hindutva debate, some people in Congress miss a fundamental point. If I were to believe that my religious identity should be the basis of my politics, then I should be in A Majoritarian or Minoritarian Political Party. I am in the Congress because I believe in the Nehruvian ideal that religion is a private space activity," Tewari said on Twitter.     

Many in the grand old party feel that getting into this debate ahead of upcoming Assembly elections could be suicidal and that party leaders should avoid getting into this debate. The party is already battling references made by another senior party leader Salman Khurshid equating Hindutva with ISIS and Boko Haram.  

However, some others in the party are for 'soft Hindutva' to reach out to people. They say  the party cannot woo people if it is seen as only for the minority sections. "The party cannot ignore the majority (Hindus) and have to reach out to them to win elections. It does not mean following the BJP style of spreading hate and anger in the name of religion. But making such (like Khurshid) statements will dent our chances and we will be projected as against the majority," said a leader from Uttar Pradesh.

Plagued with infighting in a few states, this internal debate is something Congress could have done without.



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  • chandrasekaran

    What spilit? These leaders so called enjoyed everything under the sun under congress rule. Who wants their sanctimony. Leave the party and let the congress party resotore its ideological moorings after comprimising on its core secular
    10 months ago reply
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