National

How did Rahul become a non-Hindu?

Virendra Pandit Gandhinagar | Updated on January 09, 2018 Published on November 29, 2017

Congress accuses BJP, temple officials of mischief

Non-Hindus are not allowed to enter a number of Hindu temples across India. In 1984, then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was barred from entering the Jagannath Temple at Puri, Odisha, on the grounds that she had married a Parsi, Feroze Gandhi.

On Wednesday, her grandson, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi, accompanied by senior party leader Ahmed Patel, was said to have entered the Somnath Temple in Gujarat as a “non-Hindu”. A photograph, allegedly of a page from the visitors’ book in which the duo was registered as non-Hindus, did the rounds on social media.

The Congress was quick to react, with the party’s Chief Spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala saying the entry register was blank, and accused the temple officials and BJP members of making the entry afterwards. “Rahul Gandhi is a janeudhari Hindu (a forward caste Hindu wearing the sacred thread).”

Surjewala said Gandhi’s media coordinator Manish Tyagi had only signed the register without mentioning anyone’s names. “This is a lowly and cheap conspiracy hatched by power-hungry and blind people. Even a temple register has been tampered with. We request the BJP and Modi ji to at least spare the gods.”

According to the Somnath Trust rules, in June 2015, it was made mandatory for non-Hindus to make an entry to this effect with the security officials. A security official accompanies non-Hindus in the temple, which is highly-fortified due to threat perception from Islamist terrorists since the 1990s.

After the visit, during which he also prayed at the Temple, Rahul wrote in the visitors’ book: “A very inspiring place.”

A few km from the temple, Prime Minister Narendra Modi wondered at an election meeting why Rahul had visited the shrine when the latter’s great-grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru, had opposed reconstruction of the ancient temple with government funds.

Published on November 29, 2017
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