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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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BJP MP Chhatrapal Singh Gangwar Chants ‘Jai Hindu Rashtra’ After Taking Oath, Oppn Raises Objection | Watch

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BJP MP Chhatrapal Singh Gangwar took oath as the member of 18th Lok Sabha. (Image/X)

Opposition leaders raised objection to the 68-year-old MP’s chants, calling it “against the Constitution”

BJP MP from from Uttar Pradesh’s Bareilly, Chhatrapal Singh Gangwar on Tuesday took oath as a member of the 18th Lok Sabha and concluded his oath with the words, “Jai Hindu Rashtra, Jai Bharat”. Opposition leaders raised objection to the 68-year-old MP’s chants, calling it “against the Constitution”.

The incident followed a controversy that erupted after AIMIM president and MP from Hyderabad Asaduddin Owaisi chanted ‘Jai Palestine’ slogan as he concluded his oath. Union minister Shobha Karandlaje registered a formal complaint against Owaisi.

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, on the other hand, held up a copy of the Constitution while taking the oath and chanted ‘Jai Hind, Jai Samvidhan’ during the conclusion.





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Consitution Copy In Hand, Rahul Gandhi Takes Oath As Lok Sabha MP, Chants ‘Jai Hind, Jai Samvidhan’ | Watch

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To protect the Constitution is the duty of every patriotic Indian, Rahul Gandhi said in an X post. (Image/X)

The Congress leader held up a copy of the Constitution while taking the oath and chanted ‘Jai Hind, Jai Samvidhan’ during conclusion

Congress MP from Wayanad in Kerala, Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday took oath as a member of the 18th Lok Sabha on Tuesday. The Congress leader held up a copy of the Constitution while taking the oath and chanted ‘Jai Hind, Jai Samvidhan’ during the conclusion.

“To protect the Constitution is the duty of every patriotic Indian. We will fulfil this duty in full measure,” Gandhi wrote in an X post.

The proceedings for the second day of the 18th Lok Sabha session began on Tuesday. Earlier in the day, AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi sparked a controversy by chanting ‘Jai Palestine’ slogan as he concluded his oath as an MP on the second day of the 18th Lok Sabha session.



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‘Simply Not For Me’: Bhaichung Bhutia, Former Indian National Football Team Skipper, Quits Electoral Politics

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Gangtok (incl. Upper Tadong), India

Bhaichung Bhutia, footballer-turned-politician, said he is quitting electoral politics in a statement released on June 25. (Image: PTI File)

Bhutia said the realisation that electoral politics was not for him dawned on him after the 2024 Sikkim legislative elections.

Bhaichung Bhutia, former skipper of the Indian national football team and politician of the Sikkim Democratic Front, announced on Tuesday that he is quitting electoral politics. He released a statement congratulating chief minister Prem Singh Tamang and his party, the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM), for their victory in the 2024 Sikkim Assembly Election.

“After the 2024 election results, I have had the realisation that electoral politics is simply not for me. I am therefore quitting all forms of electoral politics with immediate effect,” Bhutia said.

“I now wish to devote more time to introspect, work towards my other goals and discover my purpose anew,” the former Indian football team skipper.

He exuded hope that the state government will keep its promises made to the people and take the state to greater heights. In his statement, he said that he realised electoral politics was not for him after the election results and said he regretted not being able to implement his ideas for developing sports and tourism in Sikkim.

In June, Bhaichung Bhutia faced a setback in his political career, losing the Barfung Assembly constituency in Namchi district to Rikshal Dorjee Bhutia of the ruling Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) by 4,346 votes.

“My only regret is that I felt I had great ideas with regard to development of sports and tourism which, given a chance, I would have loved to implement and thus contribute to the growth of the state in a very honest and sincere way,” he further added.

Quoting Lord Buddha, he said that his intentions in politics were always good. He thanked his supporters and apologised to anyone he may have hurt.

“I wish to thank everyone who supported me through thick and thin. I am also sincerely sorry if I hurt anyone unknowingly or knowingly. As we say in football, please take it in the spirit of the game,” the press release said.



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