Congress leader Gaurav Gogoi on February 10 attacked the BJP saying the chants of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ by its members reflect anger and hatred, and urged it to shun the tradition of worshipping Nathuram Godse, Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin.
Participating in the debate in the Lok Sabha on the construction of historic Ram Temple and Pran Pratishtha of Shri Ram Lala, Mr. Gogoi said Lord Ram belongs to everyone and is with everyone all the time.
“He is in every part of us every moment,” Mr. Gogoi said.
The deputy leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha said the definition of “Ram Rajya” means an era when everyone is happy and no one is unhappy.
He wondered whether the oppressed, backward classes and minorities of the country were happy in the present times.
Crimes against the Scheduled Castes (SCs) are on the rise and the Other Backward Classes (OBC) are demanding a caste census because they feel discriminated against when it comes to education in universities and share in government jobs, Mr. Gogoi said.
He said the arrogance of the BJP was stopping them from seeing inflation, intolerance, violence towards minorities.
As the ruling party members protested, Mr. Gogoi said the chants of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ must reflect love and goodwill.
“But your ‘Jai Shri Ram’ chant has anger and hatred. You cannot be a ‘Ram Bhakt‘ if your heart is filled with hatred, if you fire bullets at others or desecrate places of worship of other religions,” Mr. Gogoi said.
He said Sita never allowed her patience and divine energy to diminish, but the Dalit girl in Unnao or the women sportsperson who were protesting ill-treatment did not have the same experience.
“They felt helpless. There is helplessness all around us. You will see helplessness among the youth who are seeking jobs. Some have taken to addiction and crime while others are looking for jobs in other countries,” Mr. Gogoi said.
He said that Congress believes in secularism but distances itself from the “western definition” of the word.
“India is a religious country. We believe in equality of all religions, not just any single scripture,” he said.
Quoting Guru Nanak, Mr. Gogoi said that the Congress party wants to unite all and this is India’s tradition.
“Therefore, I want to warn the ruling party that they should shun the path of Nathuram Godse, you must discontinue the tradition of worshipping Godse… must stop being arrogant. Ravan was killed due to his arrogance,” he said.
Mr. Gogoi said it was Ram who empowered an army of the oppressed and the backwards to defeat the arrogance of Ravan.
“This country was not born in 2014 or on January 22, 2024. Ram Lalla has always been with us, even 500 years ago and also in the future. Ram is in our hearts,” Mr. Gogoi added.