‘This is a Country of Tapasvis:’ Rahul Gandhi When Asked if He Was a Tapasvi

BJP spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla accused Gandhi of denigrating ‘pujaris’.

1 min read

Video Producer: Shohini Bose 
Video Editor: Prajjwal Kumar 

On 8 January 2022, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that India was a country of ‘tapasvis’ (ascetics) and not, ‘pujaris’ (priests) when asked if he was a ‘tapasvi’. However, BJP spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla accused Gandhi of denigrating ‘pujaris’. 

The Congress leader was at a press conference during the Bharat Jodo Yatra's Haryana leg when he had spoken about the Congress party believing in asceticism. After this, a journalist asked him if he considered himself a tapasvi now. In response to this question, he said that he has always been an ascetic and still was one. 

He compared farmers and labourers to ‘tapasvis’ and compared the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the BJP and their followers to pujaris (priests), claiming that they were forcing people to worship them. 

Referring to the hardwork of farmers, Gandhi said that the hard work of farmers and labourers was tapasya. “Every farmer and labourer in India has walked more than me. But we do not look at how many kilometres farmers and labourers have walked, because we do not repect tapasya. I do. And I want to bring about this change,” he said.  

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