Well, PM Narendra Modi has changed the political discourse. Communists often turn pro-Hindu in Kerala. Rahul Gandhi and other Congress leaders make it a point to visit temples during elections. Christian tribal leaders in the northeast, after joining the BJP, suddenly turns into vegetarians or at least give up beef and pork eating, citing health grounds. Yet again, Rahul says-'I am Hindu'.
New Delhi: Hey! Someone is becoming unapologetically 'opportunist' —calling himself Hindu, and in the same breath eyeing Islamists in his newfound parliamentary constituency down south Kerala, tries to say he is 'not Hindutvadi'. His high decibel electoral rhetoric at a party rally in Jaipur might not make much sense, but he says-"There is a collision of two words in the politics of the country today. One word Hindu and the other word Hindutva. I am a Hindu and not a Hindutvadi."
On the other side, BJP is rejoicing. One leader said-"I am not authorised to speak as a spokesman by my party. But as an individual, I can say, we are blessed to have an opposition party in the Congress and a leader like him running the Congress. Do not forget a large number of farmers who returned home from Singhu are also Hindus and the Hindu pride does matter to them as well."
VHP's Surendra Jain also reacted more clearly: "Rahul Gandhi is one of the most delusional leaders in Indian politics. Neither he understands Hindu nor Hindutva. He mentioned Mahatma Gandhi, but he hasn't read him. Gandhi Ji said Swarajya means Ram Rajya." He also said-"Rahul Gandhi must clarify on what Mahatma Gandhi ji had said that immediately after Independence, we will immediately end religious conversion and cow slaughter."
A few BJP leaders and Union Ministers reacted strongly to Rahul Gandhi's comment.
BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya tweeted video footage of Dr Manmohan Singh's speech and said – "Then:… minorities, particularly the Muslim minority, are empowered to share equitably the fruits of development. These must have the first claim on resources." Now: Hindu-wo ka raj wapas lana hae. Is Congress, the new Muslim League, realising the diminishing utility of appeasement?
"Stop creating a non-existent divide! Rahul ji, every Hindu who knows the 'tatva' of being Hindu is a Hindutvavadi, and they spend their life in search of truth. Also, the nation doesn't need to learn what it is to be a Hindu from an opportunist janeu-dhari," tweeted Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, who is also BJP's Punjab in charge for polls.
Socio-political rhetoric in India has been changing truly. Some even say -the transformation is producing a new elite who are pro-Hindu. Hence, Rahul Gandhi yet again tries to reach out to Hindus. But his problems are serious, and need knee-jerk correction therapy. Therefore, Mamata Banerjee and her Trinamool Congress believe that in the last seven and a half years, the Congress has not been able to anchor the opposition unity and has failed in most major elections. Congress lost power in states such as Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh post-elections.
Also, sample this: "While my aim and purpose remain the same as it has always been from the very beginning, to serve the people of my state and country, I believe I am unable to do this anymore within this party," Jyotiraditya Scindia had said in his resignation letter in March 2020 ending his 18-year personal association with Rahul Gandhi and the Congress party.