Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Cong tweets image of khaki shorts on fire


The Congress on Monday tweeted an image of Khaki shorts on fire on Twitter with a caption “to free the country from shackles of hate and undo the damage done by BJP-RSS…”, triggering a political storm as the BJP and the RSS accused it of spreading “hatred and contempt” and calling it a “blatant instigation for violence”.
Posting the image with ‘145 days more to go’ tagline on its official handle, the Congress tweeted, “To free the country from shackles of hate and undo the damage done by BJP-RSS. Step by step, we will reach our goal” with a hashtag “Bharat Jodo Yatra”.
The BJP lashed out at the Congress for its “promotion of violence and hatred” with its spokesperson Sambit Patra dubbing the yatra as “Bharat Todo Yatra” and “Aag Lagao Yatra”.
Patra demanded that the Congress immediately take down the post, saying there is no room for violence in India’s constitutional scheme of things.
He also cited party leader Rahul Gandhi’s meeting during the yatra with a controversial Christian pastor who allegedly insulted a Hindu goddess.
The Congress’ tweet also drew a sharp response from the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh.RSS Joint General Secretary Manmohan Vaidya said the Congress wants to connect people through hatred. He alleged that the party’s earlier generations of leadership also harboured “hatred and contempt” for the Sangh but could not stop its rise.
Addressing a press conference in Raipur after the conclusion of a three-day RSS coordination meeting, he said that there was “growing support” for Hindutva in society.
As the BJP and the RSS hit out at the opposition party, it launched a counter-attack with its general secretary Jairam Ramesh saying that those who “stoked the fires of hatred, bigotry and prejudice” must be prepared to receive things back in the same coin.
Alleging that the Congress has had an old association with “fire”, Patra said Punjab was put on fire when the party was in power and Sikhs were burnt alive during the 1984 riots.
Noting that many members of RSS, the Hindutva organisation considered the BJP’s ideological mentor, have been killed in Kerala where the Congress’s yatra is going on presently, the BJP spokesperson alleged that the opposition party has signalled to “terrorists” in the southern state to target their functionaries.
“This is a blatant instigation for arson and murder. This instigation has been done by the Gandhi family and the Congress at their behest,” he said.
He claimed that Rahul Gandhi has often used the “fire” metaphor, noting that in his address at Cambridge University earlier the Congress leader had alleged the BJP has sprinkled kerosene all over the country and all it needs is one spark to catch fire.
He had made comments on similar lines at a Congress meeting in Rajasthan and during the protests against the ‘Agnipath’ recruitment scheme for armed forces, Patra added.
“Do you want violence in the country? Do you want people who follow the BJP-RSS ideology burnt,” Patra asked.
Hitting back, Ramesh said the RSS-BJP is not used to aggressive responses from the Congress and when the opposition party gives an aggressive response they “retreat”. There are numerous instances of the BJP and its “surrogates” fanning “hatred, prejudice, lies and falsehood,” the Congress leader said.
He added, “If they will be aggressive, we will be double aggressive. They should understand that. But the Bharat Jodo Yatra is to unite people. Its aim is to thwart attempts to divide the country, and the divisive policies and intentions in the name of religion, language, caste and states.
“The manner in which inequalities are increasing due to Modi government’s policies, increasing political centralisation… to fight that is the aim of Bharat Jodo Yatra.”
Later in a series of tweets in Hindi, Ramesh said, “why do those who talk of Congress-mukt Bharat have a problem with burning effigies? And why are they asking us for answers? The answer is to be given by those who killed Gandhi, those who support Godse and call him their role model. The answer is to be given by those who are trying to divide the country.”
Asserting that burning effigies is a democratic right, he said the party only depicted jealousy through a cartoon. “Why are people who are burning the country so upset with the symbolic burning of shorts”, he asked.
“The fact is that those who opposed the ‘Quit India Movement’ are jealous of the success of Bharat Jodo Yatra. Because if India will be united then their hate shop will be shut down,” the Congress general secretary said. The BJP also attacked Rahul Gandhi for reportedly skipping the inauguration of a memorial for freedom fighters in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday. Reports said Gandhi had agreed to attend the event but did not turn up, taking the organisers by surprise.
This is typical of Rahul Gandhi, Patra said, alleging that he is present at events where “anti-India” rants are delivered but is absent from programmes linked to nationalism.
He is a part-time politician who can never be a true “Sevak” of India, Patra claimed.
Congress sources, however, claimed that Gandhi was advised by the security staff against going there due to the surge of crowds. He would be visiting the memorial soon, they said.