Editorial

Rahul Gandhi visiting temples to aggressively woo Hindus

Yatindra Bhatnagar

Elections bring about amazing developments short of turning a donkey into a cow. But that doesn’t mean people won’t try.

The last few weeks we have seen the Congress Vice President – and the potential President if things change a little for his party, Congress – vigorously campaigning.

The Congress is aiming to snatch Gujarat state from the grip of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his BJP. Gujarat has been with BJP for 15 uninterrupted years, and for a few years before that.

Gujarat has seen much development under BJP and Narendra Modi, and that is still the main message of the party. Of course, BJP is predominantly a party of Hindus but they do not aggressively woo Hindus by claiming to be true Hindus with unending visits to temples.

They go to the temples, routinely – elections or no elections.

But Rahul is different. He has changed his tactics and his temple-visits are increasingly in the lime-light for the last. few months as the polling nears.

Obviously, Rahul wants to fool the people by his new-found love for Hinduism and Hindu temples. Earlier he was found to be in love with the Dalits by his frequent visits to Dalit families and eating with them.

That tactic didn’t work.

Before that, Congress has been wooing Muslims for decades and assuring itself of overwhelming support by the community.

For some time it worked but lately that tactic has stopped working.

Now Rahul, spearheading the Congress election campaign is desperately trying to woo Hindus by regular visits to Hindu temples at a furious pace to proclaim his – and his party’s - love for Hinduism.

I will not be surprised if this new tactic will also fail.

You see, the Indian voters are not fools. Most of the time they know the depth of the sincerity among today’s politicians. They know who is consistent and who is an opportunist. They know when you come only for votes, and when your visit is for development of the area, and wellbeing of the population, all the people.

They know that you only love votes. You don’t love the people, the ideology, democracy, all-around develpment and national interests.  You try to divide and win. People are becoming wiser and wiser. And that shows.

Rahul’s visit to the famous Somnath Temple is an example of fooling the people with his sudden love for temples and Hinduism. That kind of love was absent from the Nehru- Gandhi family (I am not writing about Mahatma Gandhi.)

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi rightly reminded people of Rahul’s great grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru’s opposition to re-building of the famous Shiva temple at Somnath. It was because of the insistence of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel that total rebuilding of the temple was done in 1951.

Nehru had not only opposed the rebuilding but also ensured that the government funds (tax-payer money) were not spent for a Hindu temple’s re-building.

Patel assured Nehru that not a single paisa of government funds would go for the temple. He got peoples’ money, voluntarily collected and spent on the temple that was destroyed and looted by the Muslim invader, Mahmud Ghaznavi of Afghanistan, in 1024. Subsequently it was rebuilt and destroyed-looted several times by Muslim rulers and also by the Portuguese till 1702, during the reign of Aurangzeb.

If Rahul’s visit to Somnath Temple was to ask for forgiveness from the Lord and the people for his family’s sins it’s okay. People might forgive but visiting the temple to impress the people that he is a staunch Hindu and needs their votes is something else. This motive is totally transparent.

This transparency of Congress in this matter, and in this manner, is totally deceptive and is likely to fail as before.