Congress leader Rahul Gandhi criticized the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), in Paris on Sunday asserting that their actions had nothing to do with Hinduism and that they couldn't be considered 'Hindu nationalists.'
“I can say that there is nothing Hindu about what the BJP does, there is absolutely nothing. I have not read anywhere, in no Hindu book, or heard from any learned Hindu person that you should terrorise, harm people who are weaker than you. So, this idea, this word, Hindu nationalists, this is a wrong word. They’re not Hindu nationalists. They have nothing to do with Hinduism,” Rahul said during an interaction with students at Science Po University in Paris.
Gandhi, currently on a week-long Europe tour, drew from his readings of Hindu scriptures, including the Bhagavad Gita and Upanishads, to argue that no Hindu text promotes terrorizing or harming weaker individuals. He criticized the BJP and RSS for their pursuit of power at any cost, highlighting their desire for dominance by a select few.
Furthermore, Gandhi accused the BJP and RSS of attempting to suppress minority voices and participation in India. He stressed the importance of creating an inclusive environment where all minorities, including the Sikh community and women, feel comfortable.
Addressing the India-Bharat name change controversy, Gandhi stated that he didn't mind whether the country was called India or Bharat but suggested that the BJP's motive behind the name change was irritation due to the Opposition alliance being named INDIA.
The BJP and RSS have not yet responded to Gandhi's remarks, but earlier, the BJP had criticized his Europe trip, suggesting it aimed to tarnish India's reputation during the G20 Summit.
During his European tour, Gandhi met with European Union leaders and discussed the state of democratic processes in India, which he believes are 'under attack.'
Gandhi's next destination is Norway, where he will address a diaspora event in Oslo and deliver a speech at the University of Oslo before returning to India.
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