The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Cong amused by PM musings

New Delhi, Jan. 1: The Prime Minister’s Goa musings have failed to impress the Congress.

The New Year musings penned by Atal Bihari Vajpayee were, at worst, another instance of his propensity to indulge in “misleading propaganda” or, at best, a reflection of his “own confusion”, the party said today.

Congress spokesman Anand Sharma, expressing amusement at the musings, accused Vajpayee of indulging in misleading propaganda. “How could he otherwise equate Hindutva with Bharateeyata'” he asked. Bharateeyata is an inclusivist worldview, Sharma said, in which Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and believers of all other faiths set aside theological differences to embrace Indianness.

“We cannot accept his assertion that Hindutva as advocated by the Sangh Parivar…is the same as Bharateeyata,” Sharma said.

Whereas, he said, the Hindutva was a term coined by the Parivar for political purposes and represented a “brazen attempt by the Parivar to hijack and misrepresent the great Indian culture as represented by the Bharateeyata worldview, he said, adding that the Congress rejected the Prime Minister's attempt to equate the two.

At a time when the nation expected him to come up with a reassuring message to promote social and communal harmony, Vajpayee actually sought to equate secularism with Sangh Parivar's Hindutva ideology which stoked illwill, violence and hatred among different communities with a single aim of garnering votes, Sharma said.

Instead of trying to confuse people through such misleading propaganda, the Prime Minister should have assured that his Government would bring the Parivar outfits like the VHP and Bajrang Dal to book for their explicitly stated objective of subverting the country's Constitution, he further said. But, unfortunately, the musing rang hollow, he added.


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