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Communalism

Salman Khurshid's Home Set on Fire, Vandalised Days After He Compared Hindutva Groups to Terrorists

The Congress leader has been at the centre of criticism from BJP and Hindutva groups after it became known that his latest book had scathing remarks on Hindutva politics.

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New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid’s Nainital home was allegedly vandalised and set on fire on Monday, November 15, days after it became known that his book on Ayodhya drew parallels between Hindutva groups and terrorist organisations, such as Boko Haram and ISIS, drawing the ire of the BJP and Hindu fundamentalist groups.

The report on the vandalism first appeared on NDTV.

Photographs and videos shared by Khurshid on his official Facebook page showed shattered window panes, charred doors and flames. Two men are seen trying to put off the fire in a video.

Taking to Facebook, Khurshid wrote, “I hoped to open these doors to my friends who have left this calling card. Am I still wrong to say this cannot be Hinduism?”

Sharing the pictures of his vandalised house, Khurshid further wrote, “So such is debate now. Shame is too ineffective a word. Besides I still hope that we can reason together one day and agree to disagree if not more.”

The Congress leader has been at the centre of criticism from BJP and Hindutva groups after it became known that his book Sunrise Over Ayodhya: Nationhood in Our Times, released on November 10, contained observations on Hindutva politics and how religion was being used to reap electoral dividends by the BJP.

Hindutva groups objected to a particular passage in the book, which reads as follows: “Sanatan Dharma and classical Hinduism known to sages and saints were being pushed aside by a robust version of Hindutva, by all standards a political version similar to the jihadist Islam of groups like ISIS and Boko Haram of recent years.”

While accusing Khurshid of “hurting Hindu sentiments”, the BJP said that Congress was resorting to “communal politics” to garner Muslim votes.

However, Khurshid stood by his remarks.

Backing Khurshid, Congress former president Rahul Gandhi sought to differentiate between ‘Hinduism’ and ‘Hindutva’. He had said, “What is the difference between Hinduism – as we know it – and Hindutva? Are they the same thing? Can they be the same thing? Is Hinduism about beating a Sikh or a Muslim? Is Hinduism about killing Akhlaq? Hindutva, of course, is. Where is it written that religion is about killing an innocent man, I am unable to find this.”

Meanwhile, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad had said that Khurshid drawing parallels between Hindutva groups and global terror outfits amounted to “exaggeration”.