Shankaracharya comes out in support of Rahul Gandhi over “Hindu” and “violence” statement

shankaracharya swami ...NEW DELHI: Days after Leader of Opposition Rahul Gandhi’s aggressive speech in Lok Sabha on Hindutva, violence, BJP, RSS, the 46th Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math Swami Avimukteshwarananda has come out in support of the Congress leader.
The Shankaracharya, a respected figure among Hindus, offered a different view. “We listened carefully to Rahul Gandhi’s entire speech. He clearly emphasised that Hinduism rejects violence,” the Shankaracharya said on Sunday. The controversy erupted during the debate on the motion of thanks on the President’s address when Rahul Gandhi accused BJP leaders of dividing people on communal lines.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had condemned the speech, saying Rahul Gandhi had termed the “entire Hindu community as violent”. The allegation led to a heated debate in Parliament and the Speaker expunged several controversial statements from the record.
Meanwhile, in a video that went viral on social media, the Pope also criticised the selective dissemination of Mr Gandhi’s speech, and urged accountability for those who distorted facts. “It is misleading and unethical to present only excerpts of Gandhi’s statement,” he said. He said those responsible for this should be punished.
Congress MP Rahul Gandhi’s sister Priyanka Gandhi has also defended her brother against the allegations. She said, “Rahul can never speak against Hindus. His remarks were targeted at the BJP and its leaders.” Rahul Gandhi’s remarks have created a ruckus. Right-wing groups have termed him anti-Hindu.
During the special session of Parliament, Leader of Opposition Rahul Gandhi made a statement about Hindus. After which, the BJP, along with Hindu organisations, opened a front against him and held protests across the country. Amid the fierce criticism of Rahul Gandhi’s statement on Hindus, Shankaracharya Avimukteshwaranand Saraswati has come out in support of the Congress MP. He said that we heard Rahul Gandhi’s entire speech. He is clearly saying that there is no place for violence in Hinduism.
A video of Shankaracharya Swami Avimukteshwarananda has been posted, in which he is heard saying, “We heard Rahul Gandhi’s entire speech. He is clearly saying that there is no place for violence in Hinduism. Rahul Gandhi is not saying anything contrary to Hinduism anywhere. Spreading half of Rahul Gandhi’s statement is a crime. The person doing this should be punished.” In fact, Rahul Gandhi had said in the Lok Sabha on July 01, “People who consider themselves Hindus keep doing violence and hatred 24 hours a day. You people are not Hindus at all. It is clearly written in Hinduism that one should support the truth.” In his first speech  after becoming the leader of the opposition,
Rahul, holding a picture of Lord Shiva, told MPs, “Lord Shiva says do not be afraid and do not scare others. He takes a fearless pose, talks about non-violence… and those who call themselves Hindus talk about violence, hatred and lies 24 hours a day.”
Rahul’s outspoken speech was so powerful that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had to intervene twice and Union Home Minister Amit Shah five times. Modi stood up and said, “This is very serious. Calling the entire Hindu society violent is a very serious matter.” Speaking in Parliament, Rahul Gandhi said, “I am talking about the BJP and the AAP… No, no. Narendra Modi does not represent the entire Hindu society, neither the BJP or the RSS.” He emphasised that the Sangh Parivar does not have a monopoly on Hinduism. The speech triggered an uproar, which rippled through Gujarat’s Ahmedabad, where the Congress headquarters was attacked by right-wing goons, following Rahul’s visit to the state on Saturday.
Swami Avimukteshwarananda categorically said it was wrong to target the Rae Bareli MP for something he never said. “He categorically said that Hindus cannot indulge in violence. Before the consecration of the Ram temple in Ayodhya in January, which was officiated by Modi, Swami Avimukteshwarananda Saraswati and Swami Nischalananda Saraswati of Odisha’s Govardhan Math had refused to attend the ceremony, saying consecration of any unfinished temple was against Hindu scriptures.
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