Hindutva is about beating a Sikh or a Muslim, Hinduism is different: Rahul Gandhi

Gandhi was addressing online a four-day “AICC orientation programme” organised at Sevagram Ashram in Wardha where Congress representatives from across the states are participating.

Former Congress chief and a vocal opponent of Hindutva organisations in the country, Rahul Gandhi on Friday stated that Hindutva and Hinduism are two different things and said people need to explore and understand such differences.

Gandhi was addressing online a four-day “AICC orientation programme” organised at Sevagram Ashram in Wardha where Congress representatives from across the states are participating.

Gandhi asked the participants if Hinduism is about persecuting people of a different faith, while asserting that Hindutva “of course” is about that.

“Is Hinduism about beating a Sikh, or a Muslim. Hindutva, of course, is. In which book is it written? I have not seen it. I have read the Upanishads. I have not read it,” he said.

Former Congress chief’s remarks came days after Hindutva politicians launched a vicious campaign against senior Congress politician Salman Khurshid who equated political Hindutva with the Islamic State and Boko Haram in his latest book “Sunrise Over Ayodhya.”

He went on to say: “What is the difference between Hinduism, as we know it, and Hindutva? Are they the same thing? Can they be the same thing? If they are the same thing, why don’t they have the same name? Why do they have different names? Why do we use the word Hinduism, why just not use the word Hindutva, if they are the same thing? They are obviously different things.”

According to Gandhi, Hindutva is about killing Akhlaq and Hinduism is not.

“And these are things we have to start to explore and understand, and develop a group of people… who deeply understand these differences, who can apply these differences to issues, to behaviours, to actions,” he continued.