Congress Rajya Sabha MP Digvijaya Singh on Wednesday said attempts are being made in the country to brand a particular community as a villain and emphasised that the word 'Hindutva' does not exist in ancient religious books as the term was coined by freedom fighter V D Savarkar and it has political connotations.
Describing himself as a very religious person, the Congress veteran said he had never used terms like "saffron terrorism or Hindu terrorism", but has instead spoken about "Sanghi terrorism". An atmosphere is being created in the country these days in which a community is being termed as a villain. (Hindutva ideologue) Savarkar has said in his book that only those people have a right to stay in this nation whose religion took birth in this land (India) and that all other faiths are foreign. "But if this concept is followed then what will happen to NRIs working in the USA, the Middle East?. It is a frustrated ideology and nothing, Singh told reporters at his residence here on the occasion of Swami Vivekanand Jayanti. The former CM said some people have started treating Hindutva as a religion which is not correct. The word Hindutva is not seen anywhere... be it the Vedas, the Upanishads or the Puranas. This word was coined by Savarkarji with political identity in mind. He himself has written in his book that Hindu religion has nothing to do with Hindutva. "But we have started treating Hindutva as a religion though it is against Sanatan Dharam, traditions and Hindu religion... I am ready to debate on this," he said. Earlier, in his opening remarks before the press meet, Singh clarified that he or his father had never joined the RSS as claimed by some people and highlighted the history of his ancestral town Raghogarh, a former princely state. The former chief minister said he was not inclined towards politics during his student life and never voted in student union elections. Singh said he had been a very religious person since the beginning of his life and his ancestral town has temples of different deities and even in those days (pre-independence) Dalits were allowed to enter them. The Congress MP said he is against those who use religion as a political tool and added that as the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh he had acted firmly against radical forces irrespective of their religion. He said Sanatan Dharma treats everyone with equality and it is the biggest strength of India. The same thing was stated by Swami Vivekanand at the Parliament of the World's Religions in Chicago and also other forums. If you want to make this country Vishwa Guru, then you have to take everyone with you. There are different religions and sects in the country, but never ever these kinds of things took place. We are against the use of religion as a political tool, Singh said. Singh recalled former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's advice of "Rajdharma (duty of a ruler) given to then-chief minister Narendra Modi in the backdrop of the 2002 Gujarat riots. "Rajdharma" means taking along everyone, the Congress leader said. To a question, Singh said, I was never against Hindus, I am a Hindu.... I am a totally religious person and will never use religion in politics. For me, religion is not a political weapon, but a matter of faith. But I will always be against fanaticism.
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