Since past two months Rahul Gandhi, who is very soon to be anointed as President of Indian National Congress party is carrying out an extensive electoral campaign for the forthcoming assembly elections in Gujarat. Congress party which is the propagator of ‘Secularism’ has deployed soft Hindutva card as a part of its electoral strategy in Gujarat. Towards this its star campaigner Rahul Gandhi is visiting several temples during his campaign showcasing himself as a devout Hindu. About two weeks back, in one of such visit to a temple at Becharaji, Rahul Gandhi described himself as a devout follower of Lord Shiva.
Yesterday, Rahul Gandhi visited the famous Somnath Temple in Gujarat to seek blessings from Lord Shiva. At this temple a separate register is maintained for those visitors who are not from Hindu religion and names of such visitors are entered in it. In this register Manoj Tyagi, the media coordinator of the Congress party, made entry of two names viz. Rahul Gandhi and Ahmed Patel as non-Hindus.
While there is no doubt in anyone’s mind as regards the faith to which Mr. Ahmed Patel belongs to, however, as far as Rahul Gandhi is concerned there are doubts prevailing about the faith to which he belongs to. In the past he has declared himself to be Brahmin, an uppermost caste in Hindu religion’s hierarchy.
Here it should be made amply clear that no one should have any problem with the religion Rahul Gandhi is pursuing. Be it Hinduism or Catholicism or Islam or any other religion or even atheism or agnosticism. The point of contention is to claim himself as a Hindu when he is not. The fact that Rahul Gandhi is not a Hindu is revealed not only by this entry in the register maintained at Somnath temple but also in an article published in The New York Times on 27th February 1998 authored by John F. Burns. This article clearly mentions that Rahul Gandhi then 27 years of age and Priyanka Gandhi then 26 years of age were raised as Roman Catholic by their mother Mrs. Sonia Gandhi who herself is professing Catholic religion.
http://www.nytimes.com/1998/02/27/world/sonia-gandhi-the-foreigner-startles-the-political-pundits.html?mwrsm (Link of the full article)
Rahul Gandhi or the Congress party has never contested this article in the last 19 years since its publication.
Obvious question which arises here is why is Rahul Gandhi hiding his religious identity? Does he think that if he discloses the religion he is pursuing then Hindus of the country will not vote for him or will not accept him as the Prime Minister? If that is so then it is the biggest insult of Hindu community which has voluntarily accepted Secularism as the foundation of this country. Hindus of India have accepted Muslims as the President and the Vice President of the country, a Sikh as a Prime Minister and will not hesitate to accept a Catholic as the Prime Minister on merit. Rahul Gandhi must know that the people of this country will vote for him and his party on the basis of his vision for this country and the policies of his party and not for the religion he pursues. He must also clarify why in the past he made highly derogatory statements against the practitioners’ of Hindu religion because if he is indeed a Hindu and that too a ‘Janeu dhari’ as Congress’s spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala described him as, then he would have never made such highly derogatory against the Hindus.
- On 3rd August 2009 in the course of his conversations with US Ambassador to India Timothy Roemer, Rahul Gandhi had told him that the bigger threat to India was the growth of radicalized Hindu groups, which create religious tensions and political confrontations with the Muslim community.
- On 20th August 2014 at the Sankalp Samavesh of his party on the occasion of his late father's 70th birth anniversary, he remarked "Those who go to the temples, worship the goddess, refer to women as sisters and mothers, and molest women in the bus."
Jayesh Mehta @JMehta65
Editor. Bharat Samvad
Views presented here are of the Author.