Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday extended his ‘Hindu vs Hindutvavadi’ pitch to a comment by the chief of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the ideological parent of the ruling BJP, in which the latter had said that the “DNA of Indians” was the same for the last 40,000 years.
The comment by Mohan Bhagwat seen by critics as the latest attempt by the organisation of dictating what or who constitutes India and denying the country’s history of diversity was picked up by Mr Gandhi for a critique on Twitter.
“Hindus believe that every person’s DNA is unique. Hindutvavadis believe that all Indians have the same DNA,” Mr Gandhi wrote in Hindi.
The riposte was the latest in the campaign that Mr Gandhi began floating earlier this month, branding the BJP and RSS’s discourse as ‘Hindutvavadi’, separate from the community of tolerant and pluralist Hindus.
The Congress leader had made the same reference a day ago at a massive rally in Uttar Pradesh, headed for elections, in which he strived to paint Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a ‘Hindutvavadi’ and not a Hindu.
“A Hindutvavadi bathes alone in Ganga, while a Hindu bathes with crores of people,” he said, taking a swipe at PM Modi for his solo dip in the Ganga while inaugurating the Kashi Vishwanath corridor in Varanasi.
Trying to position his party as one of “truthful” Hindus against PM Modi’s “lying” Hindutva, he also drew a distinction between the two sides as love against hate and non-violence against violence. He said that Mahatma Gandhi represented Hindus and his killer Nathuram Godse represents Hindutva.
Speaking at an event in Himachal Pradesh, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat had said, “The DNA of all the people of India from 40,000 years ago is the same as that of the people of today. The ancestors of all of us are one, because of those ancestors our country flourished, our culture continued.”