Our Hindutva Inclusive: Sena Criticises Javed Akhtar for RSS-Taliban Comparison
The Shiv Sena in an editorial in 'Saamana' said that the RSS' Hindutva respects human rights and women's rights.
Commenting on the controversy surrounding lyricist and former Rajya Sabha MP Javed Akhtar comparing the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) with the Taliban, the Shiv Sena, on Monday, 6 September, said that the idea of a Hindu rashtra of the RSS and the Sena is an inclusive one.
Reiterating its support for a Hindu rashtra in its mouthpiece Saamana, the Shiv Sena said that Hindus should not be sidelined in their own country.
"We do not agree with his statement of comparing the RSS with the Taliban. His remarks saying that there is no difference between the goals of the Taliban and the RSS are incorrect. Javed Akhtar might have ideological differences with the RSS and he does voice them on several occasions. However, even if he has a secular ideology, it cannot mean that the ones backing the idea of a Hindu rashtra can be compared to the Taliban," the editorial said.
"The idea of a Hindu rashtra of the people and the organisations backing it is way more moderate (compared to that of the Taliban). When Hindustan and Pakistan were two nations created on the basis of religion, Hindus should not be sidelined in their own country. The Hindus, who consider Hindutva a culture, only demand action against those who try to attack it," it said.
Sena Reiterates Hindutva Stand
Reiterating its Hindutva stand, something the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) keeps accusing the Sena of sidelining, the editorial said that the ones criticising the demolition of the Babri Masjid and the abrogation of Article 370 are the ones with a 'Talibani' mentality.
"The Hindutva of the RSS and the Shiv Sena is inclusive. It has space for pioneering ideas like human rights, women's rights and freedom. If the Sangh or the Sena had a Talibani mentality, laws against Triple Talaq would not have been been made in this country and Muslim women would not have gotten the freedom that they deserve," the editorial said.
"Many doubt the Sangh's contribution to India's freedom struggle, that's a separate issue. But the RSS is an organisation of national significance today and there cannot be two ways about it," it said.
Comparing India with countries like China, Pakistan, America and European nations, which identify as Buddhist or Christian or Islamic republics, the editorial said that "Despite having Hindus as the majority, India still bears the flag of a secular nation."
During an interaction with NDTV last week, Akhtar had said: "Just like the Taliban want an Islamic State, there are those who want a Hindu Rashtra. These people are of the same mindset - be it Muslim, Christian, Jews or Hindus."
"Of course, the Taliban is barbaric, and their actions are reprehensible, but those supporting the RSS, VHP and Bajrang Dal are all the same," he added.
While Mumbai BJP leader Ram Kadam has demanded an apology from Akhtar and threatened to not allow the release of any films he is associated with, Ashutosh J Dubey, the legal advisor to the BJP’s Maharashtra unit, and a Mumbai-based lawyer, has filed a police complaint against Akhtar.
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