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Opinion | Abhay Mudra: Confusion Worse Confounded – News18

Opinion | Abhay Mudra: Confusion Worse Confounded – News18

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha. (File pic/PTI)

How Rahul Gandhi’s interpretation of the Abhay Mudra is, at best, based upon a superficial understanding of this symbolic gesture

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s interpretation of the Abhay Mudra is, at best, based upon a superficial understanding of this symbolic gesture. First, he interpreted it to mean not only “daro mat” (don’t be afraid) but also “daraao mat” (don’t terrorise). In his earlier reference to this very symbol, he had likened it to the Congress poll symbol of an open palm, in a way, trying to assign it a divine aura. Currently, while “daro mat” will find resonance with the generally understood meaning of the symbol as Almighty holding a protecting hand over the devotee, the real meaning of this particular mudra, as any spiritualist will tell you, is that it betokens kalyanamastu or blessing for the well-being of all, and not only the devotees who bow to the image. To a positive message of this posture, Rahul has committed the folly of giving a negativistic twist.

Even this is a partial take on the image of the deity. Rahul failed to see the arms in the other hand of the deity, whether it was Ram, Shiva, or Shakti. They carry arms which means that while the blessings are for the dharmic or virtuous ones, there is punishment awaiting the evil-doers also. There is no scope for the stipulation “darao mat” or don’t terrorise; this is pure imagination of the Congress leader.

Further, the way Rahul piled up pictures of deities one upon the other like papers in a file shows utter disregard for the sacred images worshipped by the devotees. The Sikh spiritual leaders have already disparaged Rahul’s display of the picture of Guru Nanak Dev ji. The Muslim community is hardly able to appreciate the way Rahul contorted the prayer pose of the devotees to a gesture from the Almighty whom they consider without form. Probably Rahul thought that this dramatisation would give an edge to his speech; instead, it has only laid bare his ignorance. The least he can do now is to shun sharing this kind of sham knowledge in the future.

Further, his description of the word “Hindu” showed his hatred for the majority community in India. One thought that this kind of insinuation applied to him also, as he often donned janeu (sacred thread) and saffron shawl and worshipped in temples during election time. But then came his afterthought limiting such “violence and hatemongering” to the Hindus supporting RSS-BJP. While there are lunatic fringes in all communities, this kind of stereotyping is surely obnoxious and deserves condemnation.

Now, if the majority of Hindus (believing that all other communities voted against it) put the BJP in power, how does it lead to the conclusion that the present government is given to hatred? Was it hatred at the back of the BJP government in providing free ration to 80 crore people regardless of caste or religious affiliation which got started during Covid times and is being continued even now? Was it hatred that impelled RSS supremo Mohan Bhagwat to declare that the Hindus and the Muslims have the same DNA? Was it hatred for other religionists in 100 other countries to whom the government supplied Covid vaccines at a time when rich countries held back the supplies and even the formulae?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagging of Rahul Gandhi as “Balak Buddhi” was a very mild reprimand. There is a method to this madness which can be gauged when one considers the timing of unnecessarily dragging the Hindu community into his speech. While American Hindus through Representative Shri Thanedar have brought forth a bill against Hinduphobia in the House of Representatives there, here is Rahul badmouthing Hindus in Parliament, thus providing fodder to the anti-Hindu and anti-India foreign forces. This may cast a shadow on the fate of the bill in America — a measure that is the need of the hour considering the repeated attacks on temples and Indian consulates by Khalistanis and Pakistanis. However, it shows who is dictating whom in global geopolitics. Rahul and his party are more worried about their vote-bank than about projecting a better image of India abroad.

Jagdish Batra is an academic and writer, presently working as Professor & Executive Dean at OP Jindal Global University, India. Views expressed in the above piece are personal and solely those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect News18’s views.

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