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If You Don’t Want to Use the Term ‘India’, You Can’t Use ‘Hindu’ Either, Says Shashi Tharoor

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Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Friday took a swipe at those who have a problem with the term ’India’ but are comfortable calling themselves ’Hindu’, although both the words, India and Hindu, are derived from the same etymology, which is river Sindhu.

Dwelling on the origin of the term ’Hindu’ during the launch of ‘Nanu Yaake Hindu’, the Kannada version of his book ‘Why I am a Hindu’, the Thiruvananthapuram MP said both the words were given by foreigners to describe people beyond the river Sindhu or Indus.

Tharoor’s book has been translated from English to Kannada by Congress leader Prof K E Radhakrishna.

In the midst of the ’India versus Bharat’ debate, Tharoor said, “It’s very ironic when I hear some people in the ruling party objecting to the use of the word ’India’ saying that it is not authentic and the same people shout slogans saying ‘Garv Se Kaho Hum Hindu Hain’.” “Well, ‘India’ and ‘Hindu’ are derived from the same etymology. If you don’t want to use ‘India’, you can’t use ‘Hindu’ either. They both come from the same source, from the river Sindhu,” he explained.

Tharoor said it is still interesting that Hindus call themselves by a label that they did not invent themselves in any of their own languages, but “adopted it cheerfully when others began to refer to them by that word”.

Noting that some Hindus prefer an altogether different term, ’Sanatana Dharma’, he said Hinduism is just a name that foreigners gave for what they saw as the indigenous religion of India.

Hinduism, according to the Congress MP, embraces an eclectic range of doctrines and practices, which believes in reincarnation and in the caste system.

“But none of these constitutes an obligatory credo for a Hindu. We have no compulsory dominance. And this is why I’m so comfortable with the tenets of Hinduism, much more than I would be with those of the other faiths that I know,” Tharoor underlined.

The Congress MP said the great sages first came up with the original idea of the divine Brahma, which was very much similar to the Islamic idea of God — that is a God without shape, without form, without gender.

The rishis or seers then realised that this was not good enough for ordinary people as they found them worshipping mountains, trees and rivers because they needed something to focus on. Thus was born the idea of worshipping the divine with a form, Tharoor explained.

Everybody was free to imagine the divine in whatever form or shape he or she chose, he said.

“You want to imagine God as a 10-handed woman riding a tiger, you’re welcome to do that. You want to imagine God as a potbelly figure with an elephant’s head, you’re welcome to do that.

“If you want to imagine God as a man suffering on the cross, Hinduism has no problem with that. That’s why the people of other faiths sometimes find it difficult to understand,” the Congress MP said.

Tharoor said that rigid and censorious beliefs never appealed to his temperament. Hinduism is in many ways predicated on the idea that the eternal wisdom of the sages about divinity cannot be confined to a single set of belief system, he said.

“As a Hindu, therefore, I can claim adherence to a religion without an established church or a priestly papacy, a religion whose rituals and customs I’m free to reject as I do reject personally the caste system,” he explained.

“There is no Hindu Pope. There is no Hindu Vatican, there is no Hindu catechism. There is not even a Hindu Sunday. You can worship your Ishta Devata (beloved deity) on different days of the week depending on what days are ascribed to him or her,” Tharoor added.

He said as a Hindu he can subscribe to a creed that is free of the restrictive dogmas of holy writ, one that refuses to be shackled to the limitations of a single volume of holy revelations.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)



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Lok Sabha Polls Will Be Dynastic Politics & Corruption Versus Development Fight: Nadda

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BJP national president JP Nadda. (PTI/File)

Nadda also chaired the Election Management Committee’s meetings for all the six Lok Sabha constituencies in Mumbai as part of preparations for the LS polls

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president JP Nadda has said the upcoming Lok Sabha elections will be a battle between dynastic politics and corruption on one side and development on the other.

Addressing party workers from Mumbai’s western suburbs during his visit to the metropolis on Wednesday, Nadda said under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, India is well on its way to become the third largest economy in the world from fifth now.

Attacking anti-BJP opposition parties, he alleged that they were either dynastic or steeped in corruption.

“You have to reach out to voters and seek their support for a fresh mandate (for BJP at the Centre). First-time voters in the last ten years have seen only development and not corruption like previous governments,” Nadda asserted, referring to the decade-long rule of the Modi administration that started in 2014.

He said the Lok Sabha elections, likely to be held in April-May, will be a fight between dynastic politics and corruption on one side and development on the other.

Dynastic politics and corruption will lead to destruction, Nadda said and highlighted the BJP’s development agenda.

Earlier in the day, Nadda met BJP office-bearers from all the 36 assembly constituencies in Mumbai besides party MPs and MLAs from the metropolis.

In his address, Nadda asked BJP leaders from Mumbai to ensure the party ideology reaches the last person in society and urged them to give a befitting reply to opposition attacks on the saffron outfit and its government.

He advised BJP leaders to extensively use social media and seek support of prominent personalities on issues of public interest.

Nadda also chaired the Election Management Committee’s meetings for all the six Lok Sabha constituencies in Mumbai as part of preparations for the national polls.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP and its then-ally, the undivided Shiv Sena, won three seats each in Mumbai. In the Maharashtra assembly polls held in October that year, the BJP won 16 of the 36 seats in the city, while 14 were bagged by the Sena.

The state, where the BJP is in power in alliance with the Shiv Sena led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and the Ajit Pawar-headed NCP, has a 288-member legislative assembly.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)



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BJP Says Rahul ‘Unhinged’: Will OBC Politics Work? | Lok Sabha Elections 2024 | Rahul Gandhi |News18

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BJP Says Rahul ‘Unhinged’: Will OBC Politics Work? | Lok Sabha Elections 2024 | Rahul Gandhi |News18One OBC (Narendra Modi) being the prime minister does not solve the problem, says M Kumaramangalam Nehru stopped the Caste Census and said that it would divide the country, BJP’s Shehzad hits back



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BJP to Release Documentary on Alleged Atrocities Against Women in West Bengal’s Sandeshkhali

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Last Updated: February 21, 2024, 23:05 IST

The “exclusive” documentary titled ‘The Sandeshkhali Socker – The Big Reveal’ will be released Thursday morning at 9 am (Image: X/BJP)

This comes amid a raging war of words between the BJP and the TMC over alleged incidents of rape and harassment of women in Sandeshkhali in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district ahead of the Lok Sabha elections

The BJP is set to release a documentary on Sandeshkhali on Thursday with the party intensifying its attack on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee-led TMC government over the alleged incidents of atrocities and sexual assault on women there.

The “exclusive” documentary titled ‘The Sandeshkhali Socker – The Big Reveal’ will be released Thursday morning at 9 am, the BJP said in post on X, asking Banerjee in Bangla, “Didi ke bolo aaro koto ‘Sandeshkhali’ (Tell didi how many more Sandeshkhali like incidents)”.

This comes amid a raging war of words between the BJP and the TMC over alleged incidents of rape and harassment of women in Sandeshkhali in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

The riverine Sandeshkhali area — situated on the borders of the Sunderbans, about 100 kilometres from Kolkata — has been witnessing protests after the local women accused absconding Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Sheikh Shahjahan and his supporters of land grab and sexual assault under coercion.

Interestingly, ‘Didi Ke Bolo’ is a campaign launched by the TMC after the 2019 Lok Sabha polls to provide a platform for the people of West Bengal to directly raise their concerns or lodge complaints with Chief Minister Banerjee.

The TMC’s move was reportedly aimed at countering the BJP in the state.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)



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