Kurukshetra: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants all people in the country should worship him, while the focus of the Congress is “tapasya”. He said the Bharat Jodo Yatra was against hatred and fear being spread in society and he sees the foot march as “tapasya”, suggesting the Yatra was about austerity and self-meditation.
Targeting the RSS and the BJP, he said they want people to forcibly worship them by using wealth, capturing institutions and creating fear.
“RSS wants they be forcibly worshipped. (PM Narendra) Modi ji wants this, that is why he does not meet you (media), that he be worshipped and all people in the country should worship him,” Gandhi alleged.
Invoking Bhagavad Gita, Gandhi said, “…Do your work, what has to happen will happen, don’t focus on the outcome, this is the thinking of this Yatra.”
He said hatred is being spread by dividing people of the country.
“Hindu-Muslim, people of different castes are pitted against each other,” he added.
On the Yatra, Gandhi said, “We are seeing it as tapasya”.
The Congress believes in ‘tapasya’ while the BJP is an “organisation of pooja”, he said addressing a press conference at Samana, near here. This was the 10th press conference the Congress leader addressed as part of the Yatra so far.
The BJP and the RSS do not respect ‘tapasya’ but want that people who do their ‘pooja’ (worship) be respected only, he added.
Gandhi said the Yatra’s purpose is also to let people hear the true voice of the country.
Replying to a question, Gandhi said, “One thing which I have understood is that this fight is actually not political, superficially it is a political fight. When we fight BSP or TRS, then it is a political contest. But there has been change in the country.
“The day when the RSS controlled the institutions of this country, the fight did not remain political. Now, this has become a different fight. You may call it a fight of ideology, dharam ki fight, or you can give it any framework, but this is not a political fight.”
“If you look at Congress party’s history, what you (reporter) said there is an energy in workers. It is an organisation of ‘tapasya’,” he added.
“BJP is a ‘sangathan of pooja’, ” Gandhi claimed, adding both the BJP and the RSS want people to worship them.
He said the Congress’ response is only one and it is ‘tapasya’ and nothing else.
“That is why this Yatra is successful. Because not only the Congress or one individual is doing ‘tapasya’, but lakhs are also doing ‘tapasya’, it is the message of the Yatra,” Gandhi stressed.
He said there should be respect of ‘tapasya’, of skill and work.
He further said, “The BJP and the RSS say there should not be respect of ‘tapasya’ and those who do their ‘pooja’ (worship) only they should be respected. And with this framework you look at demonetisation. Did demonetisation respect the ‘tapasya’ of the poor? Certainly not. It was an attack on ‘tapasya.”
“The BJP and the RSS are taking the country towards ‘forced pooja’ with the use of wealth, capturing of institutions and making people fear them,” he alleged.
“They also want you (media) to worship them”, the Congress leader said.
“That is why the PM does not come before you (media)…So this is a fight between ‘tapasya’ and ‘pooja’. Our organisation is of tapasya,” he asserted.
The Yatra has made it clear that this is an organisation of ‘tapasya’ and that (BJP) is “pooja ka sangathan”, he added.
Referring to Lord Shiva, Gandhi said, “You must have seen this symbol (of palm). What is its meaning? You will say ‘ashirwad’. It is not ashirwad, it is abhaya murdra. Do not fear. It is a signal of tapasya, do your work, do your tapasya and do not fear.”
“That is why, it is the symbol of Congress. I have researched it. I will tell it some other day about how this symbol came and you will be surprised,” he said, adding Guru Nanak Dev and the Buddha were also seen with abhaya mudra.
“Fight for independence was a fight for ‘tapasya’. These people had got ‘pooja’ done from Britishers. It is a history,” Gandhi said, without naming anyone.
To a question on half-sleeved t-shirt which he wears during the Yatra despite the biting chill, Gandhi said, “You (media) got me reprimanded. ‘Mama ne daant maar di mujhe ke tum kaise ghum rahe ho (Mother told me why you are roaming like this),” he said.
Asked how the Yatra changed his image, Gandhi said, “Rahul Gandhi is in your mind. It is not in my mind. The person whom you are watching is not Rahul Gandhi. It is visible to you. You did not understand?
“Read the Hindu religion and about Lord Shiva, you will understand it. Rahul Gandhi is in your mind, it is not in my mind, Rahul Gandhi is in the mind of BJP, it is not in my mind. I have nothing do with the image; I have no interest in the image.”
Asked whether he was a ‘tapasavi’ (ascetic), Gandhi replied, “This country is of tapasvis. People say how many kilometers Rahul Gandhi walks but why people do not say how many kms farmers or labourers walk.
“Because we do not respect ‘tapasya’, but I do. So this change is to be brought about. This country is of tapasvis, it is not of pujaris. This is the reality. If this country is to become superpower, then it should respect tapasvis, producers and they be protected,” he added.
When asked what he thinks will be the takeaway from this Yatra, Gandhi referred to Arjuna focused on hitting the eye of a revolving fish in the epic Mahabharata.
“When Arjuna was aiming at the eye of a fish, did he say what he will do next..There is a meaning of that.. It is there in the Gita, which is do your work, what has to happen will happen, don’t focus on the outcome, this is the thinking of this yatra,” he said.
After the Yatra, there will be more programmes of the party, which will continue, Gandhi said.
About the Kanyakumari to Kashmir foot march, which is currently passing through Haryana, Gandhi said it has received an overwhelming response and he got to learn many things during the course of the journey so far.
He said there is economic inequality in the country and wealth, media and other institutions are being controlled by a few people.
The Yatra, which started from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu on September 7, will end after reaching Srinagar by January 30 with Gandhi hoisting the national flag there. The march has so far covered Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.