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congress: Congress ideology alive, vibrant but overshadowed by BJP: Rahul Gandhi

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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday said his party’s ideology is like a “beautiful jewel” with an unending power inside it, but it has been overshadowed by the BJP, and maintained Hindu and Hindutva are different concepts.

If crystalized, the Congress ideology which is alive and vibrant will envelope that of the BJP-RSS, he said and emphasised on strengthening his party’s ideas within the organisation and spreading them across the country. Gandhi was addressing online a four-day ‘AICC orientation programme’ organised at Sevagram Ashram in Wardha.

Congress representatives from across the states are participating in the programme. He said, “We have to accept that there are two ideologies in India – the Congress ideology and the RSS ideology. We have to accept the BJP-RSS has spread hatred in today’s India.”

The former Congress president said there has been “complete capture” of the media by the saffron outfit. “The BJP has overshadowed the loving, affectionate and nationalistic ideology of the Congress party. Our ideology is alive and vibrant, but it has been overshadowed by the BJP,” said the Lok Sabha MP from Wayanad in Kerala. “It has been overshadowed partly because of complete capture of the media and complete capture of the Indian nation. It has also been overshadowed as we have not propagated our ideology among our own people aggressively,” said Gandhi.

Gandhi observed that Hindutva and Hinduism are two different concepts. “These are the types of things we need to explore and understand and develop a group of people…100, 200, 300, 500 people who deeply understand these differences, who can apply these differences to issues, behaviour, to action.”

“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. “We say there is a difference between Hindutva and Hindu religion. It is a simple logic – if you are a Hindu then why do you need Hindutva? why do you need this new name?” he asked.

The Congress leader said in today’s India, ideological fight has become very important. “The Congress ideology…the ideology it follows has been existing in India for thousands of years. Just like the RSS has its icons, the Congress has its own icons… they are different icons. But, we have them, it is about bringing this ideological ocean and allowing our people to swim in it,” he said.

Gandhi admitted the Congress did not propagate its ideas properly in the past. “Now is the time to strengthen Congress ideology in its own organisation and spread its across India through party workers,” he said. The Congress MP stressed on importance of ideological training, which he said, should be mandatory for all party workers. “The central way to propagate the party’s ideology is by training people in a conversation about what it means to be a Congress person and how is that different from being an RSS person,” Gandhi said. “Ideologically training of party workers, in my view, should be made mandatory irrespective of seniority,” Gandhi said in his address.

Gandhi said the Congress ideology, if studied and propagated deeply in the organisation, has answers of all questions related to various issues of public concern – ranging from Article 370, terrorism to nationalism, but the party doesn’t give necessary “tools” to its workers to articulate them.

Gandhi said the Congress ideology is like a “beautiful jewel” with an unending power inside it. “It is our strength…it is why we exist and it is important we discover it. They (BJP) have discovered their ideology and crystalized it. We have to crystalize our ideology and the moment we do that it will envelope their ideology. The hate that is being spread today will vanish and the future which seems uncertain will become certain,” he added.

Recalling his conversation with former Uttarakhand minister Yashpal Arya who returned to the party fold last month, Gandhi said Arya told him for a Congressman, it is very suffocating to survive in the BJP.

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