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I am not a Hindu nationalist, says Shashi Tharoor

Last Modified Monday, 25 September 2017 (18:27 IST)
New Delhi: and former Union Minister on Monday disagreed with the view that the Congress had digressed from Gandhian nationalism and was ignoring religion. "Congress has always found a place for religion, and Gandhian nationalism has been the guiding force of its policies," Dr Tharoor said when asked to comment on the view expressed by veteran former BBC journalist Mark Tully in an interview to a national English daily in its Monday’s edition. "But religion should not be a determinant of my political identity and values, and indeed the way the government should function.

The Government should function for all people," the Congress MP said talking to UNI. He underscored that the Congress stands for inclusive nationalism. "I am not embarrassed to say that I am a Hindu, and I have a religion. I am a Hindu, and I am a nationalist but I am not a Hindu nationalist. I am an Indian nationalist,’’ he said.
 
Mr Tully in his talk with the Indian Express had suggested that the Congress should consider looking at the Gandhian model of nationalism to revive itself, and must find a place for religion in politics. He had also said that the Congress while talking about secularism, gave an impression that they were "anti-religion", whereas most Indian were religious. He said to Congress and its supporters "if you say anything about Hinduism, you are RSS." Disagreeing with this description of his party, Dr Tharoor said his party had always been a party of all religions, not of one religion. He pointed out that Gandhiji used to hold 'sarva dharma sabhasings at which devotional songs from all religions were sung. The Congress’s inclusive nationalism was different from the those who believed that one particular religious community was the sole proprietor of nationalism, Dr Tharoor said. (UNI)
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