The Nainital home of Congress leader Salman Khurshid was vandalised and set on fire today, days after his new book on Ayodhya sparked a controversy by drawing a parallel between “Hindutva” and radical Islamist groups.
Visuals shared by Mr Khurshid on Facebook show tall flames, charred doors and shattered window panes at his Nainital home. Two men are seen trying to douse the fire by throwing water.
Sharing the visuals, the Congress leader said in a post, “I hoped to open these doors to my friends who have left this calling card. Am I still wrong to say this cannot be Hinduism?”
— Salman Khurshid (@salman7khurshid) November 15, 2021
The former Union Minister has been under the spotlight ever since the launch of his new book, ”Sunrise Over Ayodhya: Nationhood in Our Times”. At the centre of the controversy is a passage that reads, “Sanatan Dharma and classical Hinduism known to sages and saints were being pushed aside by a robust version of Hindutva, by all standards a political version similar to the jihadist Islam of groups like ISIS and Boko Haram of recent years.”
Hitting out, the BJP said Mr Khurshid’s remark has hurt sentiments of Hindus and alleged that the Congress is resorting to “communal politics” to corner Muslim votes.
Soon after, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi sought to differentiate between “Hinduism” and “Hindutva” and the BJP, in a scathing response, said Mr Gandhi and his party have a “pathological hatred” of Hinduism.
Mr Khurshid also faced some criticism from within his party, with Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad terming his “Hindutva” parallel “exaggeration”.
“We may not agree with Hindutva as a political ideology but comparing it with ISIS and Jihadist Islam is factually wrong and exaggeration,” Mr Azad said.
A Delhi-based lawyer has also filed a complaint against Mr Khurshid, also an eminent jurist.