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'Book is for Hindu-Muslim Unity & Pro-SC's Verdict on Ayodhya': Salman Khurshid

Salman Khurshid found himself in a controversy over his new book on Ayodhya.

Updated
India
3 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Congress leader Salman Khurshid (File Image)</p></div>
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Senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid, who found himself in a controversy over his new book on Ayodhya for allegedly comparing ‘Hindutva’ to radical Islamic terror groups, on Friday, 12 November, stated that those who want to politicise it will do so, but his book is for "Hindu-Muslim unity".

He also pointed out that the intent behind his book is to make people understand that the apex court's Ayodhya verdict is a good verdict.

According to ANI, Khurshid said:

"Whoever wants to politicise, will do and whoever wants to write a book, will write. My book is for Hindu-Muslim unity and making them understand that SC verdict (on Ayodhya) is a good verdict

Earlier on Thursday, he said he stood by his comments written in the book.

“I have not called these guys terrorists, I have just said they are similar in distorting religion. What Hindutva has done, it has pushed aside Sanatan Dharma and Hinduism and it has taken over a robust, aggressive position similar to Boko Haram and those other guys,” he said, as per PTI.

“I could not find anybody else that they could be similar to. I said they are similar to them, that’s all, nothing to do with Hinduism. Hindutva, as portrayed by its proponents, is distorting religion," he added.
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Will Get Khurshid's Book Banned in MP: State Home Minister Narottam Mishra

Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra said he would get Khurshid's book banned in the state.

"I will consult law experts in Madhya Pradesh and get this book banned in the State," he said, as per ANI.

"Salman Khurshid's book is condemnable. They don't leave an opportunity to divide Hindus into castes or to divide our county... Was Rahul Gandhi not the first to go to those who said 'Bharat tere tukde honge'? Salman Khurshid is working on the same agenda," Mishra told the media, as per NDTV.

"What (former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister) Kamal Nath said - 'it's not 'mahan Bharat but badnam Bharat (not a great country but an infamous one)'. This is a part of the same thought process. They just want Hindus to get divided. It is a way to attack our faith. The Supreme Court said 'Hindutva' is a way of life... then what's there to question?" he asked.

'Comparing Hindutva With ISIS and Jihadist Islam Factually Wrong'

Meanwhile, Khurshid's colleague and Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad called the controversial portion of the book "factually wrong" and an "exaggeration".

"We may not agree with Hindutva as a political ideology but comparing it with ISIS and Jihadist Islam is factually wrong and exaggeration," Azad said, as per NDTV.

Reacting to Azad's comments, Khurshid said, "Mr Azad has said he disagrees with the ideology of Hindutva… I have explained why we disagree.”

“After that he (Azad) said this is an exaggeration. Now exaggeration, measurement and assessment and perception that varies from person to person. It may seem exaggerated to him, it does not seem exaggerated to me,” the former Union minister added.

Khurshid said he did not want to engage Azad in an argument.

“I think he must have said it in a casual moment when he had nothing serious thoughtful consideration of it. But if he said it, we respect him for what he says, he is a senior person, but it will not make me change my mind,” he said.

BJP Accuses Congress of Playing Communal Politics

Earlier, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) accused the Congress of playing "communal politics" to get Muslim votes.

In a complaint filed against Khurshid, a Delhi-based lawyer had accused the 68-year-old of comparing 'Hindutva' with radical Islamic terror groups.

Meanwhile, Amit Malviya, the BJP's IT cell chief, highlighted the alleged comparison between Hindutva and “jihadist Islamist groups like ISIS and Boko Haram” and said in a tweet, “What else can we expect from someone whose party coined the term Saffron terror just to draw equivalence with Islamic jihad, to get Muslim votes?”

BJP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia said the book hurt the religious sentiment in the country. "Hinduism was compared to ISIS and Boko Haram. Why is the Congress party doing this while staying in India? Congress is weaving a web like a spider against Hindus… All this happens at the behest of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. Earlier, the term 'Hindu terrorism' was invented in the Congress office," NDTV reported.

Further, demanding that Khurshid be sacked from the Congress, Bhatia was quoted as saying, "If Sonia Gandhi respects Hindus, then she should come out and explain it. If you remain silent, then it will be clear that your ideology is also against Hindus."

Bhatia also asserted that due to the “politics of hatred of Congress, the public will teach a lesson in the Assembly elections to be held in five states next year".

The complaint was filed by advocate Vineet Jindal who said that the statement in the book is "stirring enraged emotions among the Hindu religion followers".

(With inputs from PTI, ANI & NDTV.)

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