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Internal conflict of Congress in Madhya Pradesh on ‘soft Hindutva’.

When a Muslim Congress MLA questioned his party’s ‘soft Hindutva’ pitch to retain its ‘secular stand’.

Soft HindutvaUpendra Bharti | HENB | Bhopal | April 9, 2022:: With an utter aspire to return to the power in Madhya Pradesh, the state unit president and former Chief Minister of the state Kamal Nath opted the policy of adopting ‘soft Hindutva’ policy which has strongly opposed by party’s minority leader and MLA Arif Masood.

The temple run by congress icons Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Vadra and some others, now has been taken by many congress leaders to save their existence in politics churned by Hindutva dimension.

Madhya Pradesh Congress MLA Arif Masood has taken exception to PCC chief Kamal Nath’s instructions to Congress workers to celebrate Ramnavmi and Hanuman Jayanti. Masood said that Congress is a secular party and takes along people from all faith.

Instructions were issued on behalf of MP Congress president Kamal Nath on April 2 directing the party workers to organize religious programmes like Ram Kathavachan (recital of Ramayana), Shovayatra (rally) etc. on April 10 and April 16 to mark Ramnavami and Hanuman Jayanti, respectively.

As per media report, the letter, written by Chandra Prabhash Shekhar, vice-president in charge of organisation in the MP Congress, asks party leaders to organise Ram kathas and Ram leelas on Ram Navami and recitations of Sundarkaand (portion of Ramayana dedicated to Hanuman) and Hanuman Chalisa on Hanuman Jayanti. The letter says state Congress chief Kamal Nath will also be celebrating Hanuman Jayanti by organising special prayers in Chhindwara on April 16.

Talking to media on Tuesday, Bhopal Central MLA Masood said that Congress is considered to be a secular party that takes along people from all faiths. Such instructions from the top brass will set wrong precedents.

“Why such directives were not issued for Congress workers about celebrating Ramadan and festivals of other faiths. Being a political party, Congress should not have issued such a circular. We take along all the religions,” Masood replied to questions by the media.

The Congress, in recent years, has been practicing a form of religion politics that has come to be known as ‘soft Hindutva’. It entails party leaders organising and supporting Hindu festivals, offering prayers at temples during poll campaigns, constructing gaushalas (cow shelters), participating in Hindu rituals and organizing bhandaras (community meals). It also involves Congress leaders overtly projecting themselves as practicing Hindus. Importantly, this has led to a feeling among a section of Muslims that the Congress’s ‘soft Hindutva’ politics is as much about not speaking out against right-wing Hindu outfits when they target the minorities. As a matter of fact, glorifying the rituals and practices of Muslims and Christians were commonly accepted in Congress party’s secular theme denouncing the Hindu practices and rituals for ‘minority vote bank’ politics. But, growing Hindutva dimensions in politics everywhere compelled Congress to adopt the ‘soft Hindutva’ to save its Hindu vote bank in reality.

However, this ‘soft Hindutva’ standpoint of congress has been criticized by the left parties from days before, now has been turned to be a point of rift in politics within Congress itself.

__With inputs from Agencies.

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