RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s remarks against lynching at an event organized by the Muslim Rashtriya Manch in UP’s Ghaziabad on Sunday (July 5) prompted a counter from Congress’ Digvijaya Singh, who said: “He should give this education to BJP leaders who are harassing Muslims”.
AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi too was unsparing. “Cowardice, violence and murder are an integral part of Godse’s Hindutva thinking. The lynching of Muslims is also the result of this thinking,” said Owaisi.
“Those who indulge in lynching are against Hindutva” Bhagwat said, adding “though at times, some false cases of lynching have been registered against people.” He also urged Muslims not to get “trapped in the cycle of fear” that Islam is in danger in India.
Bhagwat’s remarks were significant as vigilante groups, especially in western Uttar Pradesh, have frequently targeted a particular community in the name of cow protection. In mid-2018, 16 cases of lynching were recorded in two months in suspected cases of child lifting and cow slaughter.
“Hindu-Muslim unity is misleading as they’re not different, but one. DNA of all Indians is the same, irrespective of religion,” Bhagwat said. “We are in a democracy. There can’t be a dominance of Hindus or Muslims. There can only be the dominance of Indians,” Bhagwat said.
Responding to Bhagwat’s remarks in a series of tweets, Divijaya Singh said if Bhagwat manages to convince BJP leaders, he will become his admirer. However, the Congress leader added that it wasn’t an easy task. “You people have instilled so much hatred among Hindu Muslims, it is not easy to remove it. From the Saraswati Shishu Mandir to its intellectual training, the Sangh has sown seeds of hatred against Muslims, which won’t be easy to remove,” Singh tweeted.
Challenging Bhagwat to prove that he believes in the views he has expressed, Singh added, “Then give directions to have all those leaders in BJP who have harassed innocent Muslims to be removed from their posts immediately. Start with Narendra Modi and Yogi Adityanath.”
Bhagwat’s comments drew a sharp reaction from Owaisi. “These criminals would not know the difference between cow and buffalo, but the names of Junaid, Akhlaq, Pehlu, Rakbar, Alimuddin were enough to kill. This hatred is the product of Hindutva. These criminals have the backbone of the Hindutva government.”
Owaisi referred to past instances, saying that “Alimuddin’s killers were garlanded by a Union minister, a Tricolour was placed over the body of Akhlaq’s killer, a mahapanchayat was convened in support of those who killed Asif.”