New Delhi (Agency): In a recent discussion with students and academics at Sciences PO University in Paris, Rahul Gandhi, a leading opposition figure in India, criticized the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He argued that the party’s pursuit of power has “nothing Hindu” about it.
Rahul Gandhi spoke on a variety of issues, including his ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra,’ the opposition alliance’s efforts to protect democratic structures in India, and shifts in the global order. He emphasized that the opposition is committed to fighting for the “soul of India” amid current challenges.
On the topic of “Hindu nationalism,” Gandhi asserted, “I’ve read the ‘Gita,’ I’ve read many Hindu books; there is nothing Hindu about what the BJP does, absolutely nothing.” He stressed that Hindu teachings don’t endorse harming or terrorizing weaker individuals. “This idea, this word, ‘Hindu nationalists,’ is a wrong term. They are not Hindu nationalists. They are out to get power at any cost,” Gandhi said.
In terms of voting patterns, the Congress leader pointed out that 60% of India actually voted for opposition parties, while only 40% supported the ruling BJP. “The idea that the majority community is voting for the BJP is incorrect. They vote more for us than for them,” he clarified.
Commenting on the constitutional definition of India as “India that is Bharat, a union of states,” Gandhi emphasized the importance of every state’s voice being heard. “No voice should be crushed or intimidated,” he added.
The discussion was part of Gandhi’s European tour and was moderated by Professor Christophe Jaffrelot, Director of the Centre of International Studies. It was chaired by Arancha Gonzalez, Dean of the Paris School of International Affairs at Sciences PO. Rahul Gandhi had similar interactions at INALCO University in Paris before continuing to Rotterdam in the Netherlands.
Gandhi’s remarks come at a time when the BJP is often associated with Hindu nationalism, an association he clearly aims to challenge. By distinguishing between Hindu teachings and the BJP’s political strategies, Gandhi hopes to debunk the notion that the ruling party’s actions reflect Hindu values.