If 82% are Hindus, then what nation is this? Cong leader Kamal Nath, critics cite soft Hindutvatext_fields
Bhopal: Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath sparked controversy during a press conference on Monday when he commented on the demographic composition of the nation in relation to demands for a Hindu Rashtra (Hindu nation).
Speaking after a three-day Hanuman Katha event organized by the Congress in Chhindwara district, Nath was asked about his stance on the demand for a Hindu Rashtra made by Bageshwar Dham chief priest Dhirender Shastri.
Nath responded, stating, "Today if 82 per cent are Hindus in our country, then what nation is this? If 82 per cent are Hindus? I am secular. I am what is written in our Constitution." His remarks came amidst the backdrop of Shastri's controversial statements advocating for the establishment of a Hindu Rashtra.
Shastri, popularly known as 'Bageshwar Baba,' has previously organized 'Ghar Wapsi' events and made demands for a Hindu Rashtra at Bageshwar Dham. Nath addressed Shastri during the Katha's conclusion, jokingly mentioning their unique relationship, which he likened to that of Hanuman.
The Congress party in Madhya Pradesh has been subtly embracing soft Hindutva strategies to counter the BJP's influence. However, Nath's comments have raised questions about the party's position on religious matters and its broader political messaging.
In response to Nath's statements, Shastri urged to be kept away from politics and asserted that Gyanvapi, a religious site in Varanasi, was a Shiva temple, not a mosque. He also expressed concern over recent violence and urged Hindus to awaken.