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Hindus can be violent too, claims Sitaram Yechury: CPM leader says Ramayana, Mahabharat full of 'Hindu violence'; Shiv Sena says 'change name' first

CPM leader Sitaram Yechury on Friday, while campaigning for Congress' Digvijay Singh in Bhopal, attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party for fragmenting the society for votes through its divisive policies and went on to brand religious epics Ramayana and Mahabharata as specimens of 'Hindu violence'. In response to Yechury's remarks, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut hit back and said if the CPM secretary-general has a problem with the violence in Hindu epics, then he should change his name, which is derived from them.

Yechury had said: "Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur (Singh's BJP opponent) said that Hindus don't believe in violence. Many kings and principalities have fought battles in the country. Even the Ramayana and Mahabharata are also filled with instances of violence. Being a pracharak, you narrate the epics but still claim Hindus can't be violent? What is the logic behind saying there is a religion which engages in violence and we Hindus don't," he said.

"After the initial phases of election got over, they came back to the core Hindutva agenda — abolition of Article 35A and Article 370, construction of Ram Mandir on the disputed site, Uniform Civil Code and NRC. On the back of such issues, the decision to bring in Sadhvi Pragya Thakur to contest from Bhopal after the third phase is a step taken based on hyping up the sentiments of the people," added Yechury.

 Hindus can be violent too, claims Sitaram Yechury: CPM leader says Ramayana, Mahabharat full of Hindu violence; Shiv Sena says change name first

File image of Sitaram Yechury. PTI

Yechury recounted the non-violent traditions of the country citing the Mauryan empire's acceptance of the Buddhist philosophy. "The Mauryan empire accepted Buddhism after the Battle of Kalinga. Ashoka's edicts state that anyone who attacks other communities damages his own community. Our tradition is this and not the one propagated by BJP," said the CPM leader.

He elaborated in detail the Hindutva design and its genesis by recounting instances from history. "Vinayak Damodar Savarkar has himself said that Hindutva has no relation with Hinduism. It is a political project. His slogan was 'Hinduize the Military and Militarize the Hindus'. He encouraged the Hindu youth to join the military. This was the way how Hindus were organized into RSS. The person who got inspired by this philosophy was Balakrishna Shivram Moonje. He went to Italy and got inspired by Mussolini. He came back and opened a military academy which inspired the later day Hindu nationalists," he said.

"So, it is a fallacy to say that Hindus can't engage in violence as historicity doesn't verify this claim. All the private armies that have been built in the name of moral policing are based on this philosophy," he contended.

Speaking on the BJP government's failings in the present regime, Yechury said, "according to the reports that have come in, there is not one institution left which the BJP is not using to propagate its political power. These attacks on the institution are not just limited to violating people's democratic rights. We fought against the emergency to save our democracy. This is a combined attack on our democratic setup." "We don't get any answers on the promises made by the current government five years ago concerning our farmers. Loan waiver or a viable MSP is still elusive as they say that they don't have money for that purpose," he added. "However, they have the money to waive off the loans of big industrialists who are the friends of the government. They have waived off a loan of Rs 5,55,000 crore of the industrialists. On top of that, the industrialists have taken a loan of Rs 11 lakh crore which they are yet to return. Many of them have left the country and the government has no intention to pursue them," Yechury said.

Yechury also spoke on the funding process of the political parties, in particular, on BJP's use of electoral bonds. "They brought in electoral bonds which have made the funding process more opaque than ever. According to a recent submission of BJP to the Election Commission, close to 95 percent of the funds related to electoral bonds have gone to BJP's account," he said.

He contended that BJP's narrative is that if India has to fight against terrorism, one has to support Modi. "But the reality is that the fight against terrorism is a united effort otherwise we play to the tunes of the terrorists themselves," he said. "If you take out the records of terrorist attacks. In Modi's tenure, 626 terrorist attacks took place and 483 security personnel lost their lives. Ceasefire violations amounted to 5,596 compared to 563 in the preceding five years. The number of civilians who died in Modi's tenure is 210 as compared to 12 in the preceding five years," he corroborated.

Meanwhile, Raut lambasted Yechury for his statement. "What is the meaning of Hindus being violent? Ramayana and Mahabharata conveyed one central message - the victory of good over evil, truth over falsehood. Ram, Krishna and Arjuna are symbols of truth. If this is the meaning that they interpret then tomorrow they will say that our Jawans fighting against Pakistan is violence. When we defend ourselves against Pakistani acts of terrorism in Kashmir, is that violence?" said Raut.

"Sitaram Yechury's ideology is his own ideology. His ideology has only one objective, i.e., to attack Hindus and make oneself the premier secular person," he added.

"If Sitaram Yechury calls Ramayana and Mahabharata Hindu violence, then he should remove Sitaram from his name. He should also change their candidate Kanhaiya Kumar's name as his name is also Krishna's name," the Shiv Sena leader contended.

With inputs from ANI

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Updated Date: May 03, 2019 16:43:42 IST