Hindutva and Hindu religion not the same thing: Rahul Gandhi
New Delhi/UNI: Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday said 'Hindutva' and 'Hindu religion' are two different things, as he called upon party workers to spread the ideology of the party across the country.
Speaking at the launch of the party's digital campaign 'Jan Jagran Abhiyan', the Congress leader said the ideology of his party is the same as has been followed in India for the past thousands of years.
"BJP talks about Hindutva, we say there is a difference between Hindu religion and Hindutva. If there was no difference, the name would have been the same. Either Hindu or Hindutva would not be needed (as a term)," Rahul Gandhi said addressing his party workers through video conferencing.
"It is a simple logic, if you are a Hindu, what is the need for a new name 'Hindutva'. Our ideology is an old one, I believe in the power we call Shiva, he was a symbol. Kabir, Guru Nanak, Mahatma Gandhi, many people adapted and spread that ideology," Rahul said.
The Congress leader stressed "BJP has their icons, we have our icons".
"Their (BJP) icon is Savarkar, our icon is Mahatma Gandhi," he said.
He said there is a need to talk about the Congress' ideology and spread it around. "We do not talk about Congress ideology... It is an ideology that Congress follows, and it is the same that has been existing in India for the past thousands of years.
"Just like the RSS has its icons, the Ccongress ideology also has its icons. So it is about bringing this ideological ocean and allowing our people to swim in it," he said.
"We need to understand our own ideology and talk about it, we used to do it, but we stopped. There were reasons. It is time now to deepen our ideology within our organisation. Our aim is to spread the ideology across the country," he said.
He also said that ideological training should be mandatory for all Congress members, and also remarked on party leaders leaving and joining the BJP.
"You are the Congress party," he told party workers, "The tradition that Mahatma Gandhi took forward runs in your veins. These days some Congress people join BJP, RSS. I talked to (Yashpal) Arya ji from Uttarakhand, I asked him why did you return to Congress. He said he felt suffocated there."
He was referring to Uttarakhand leader Yashpal Arya who held the post of Transport Minister in the Bharatiya Janata Party government in the state. Arya and his son quit the BJP and joined back Congress in October.
"They (BJP) don't want to change society, they use us, but don't give us respect. This sentiment is in the heart of every Congress worker. They can run away but can't live there. That is the idea that we have to spread," he said.
Congress will launch a nationwide 'Jan Jagran Abhiyan' and 'padyatras' across the country from November 14 to 29 against price rise, unemployment and other issues.
Congress leaders and workers will undertake a week-long ‘Padyatra’ with night halts in the villages, towns and cities of their mass contact areas.
The Congress will also hold a training camp for state-level trainers from November 12 to 15 at Sevagram, Wardha, Maharashtra with specific emphasis on issues pertaining to the ‘Jan Jagran Abhiyan’.