Refuge In Dharma Is Welcome, Using It For Petty Politics Is Not

Anmol Jain

Jul 01, 2024, 08:00 PM | Updated 08:00 PM IST

Refuge In Dharma Is Welcome, Using It For Petty Politics Is Not

Dear Reader,

Parliament's monsoon session is underway and it is stormy in there. Today, the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Rahul Gandhi rose to speak on the motion of thanks to the President's address.

Here's what happened...

Gandhi went on to hold up a placard with the image of Lord Shiva saying that the opposition took refuge in the Hindu deity when it was under attack.

As amusing as it was, the Speaker objected to the act stating that placards weren't allowed in the house. Gandhi twisted this to mean that the Speaker was not allowing holding up Shiva's image in the house.

Amidst the ruckus, Rahul Gandhi claimed that Shiva's trident was a symbol of non-violence and "that is why it is placed where Shiva cannot reach it with his right hand".

After citing Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, and Jainism to emphasise non-violence, he said, "Those who call themselves Hindus talk about violence, hatred and lies 24 hours. You are not a Hindu. Hinduism clearly states to stand by the truth."

PM Narendra Modi stood up and objected to the statement. "This is a serious matter. They are calling the whole Hindu society violent," he said.

As the treasury benches rose in protest, Gandhi clarified that his attack was not on the Hindu society but on the BJP and RSS.


On multiple claims, from Agniveer to MSPs, Gandhi's statements were called out by the ministers themselves, after which he either backtracked or modified his statements.

Here's the deal...

Any Dharmic would welcome people taking refuge in Dharma — especially those who've consistently tried to pull it down. It is never late to revert to the eternal truth.


When Dharma or Hindu gods become a tool for political brownie points, it is not only insincere but also demeaning. The manner in which Rahul Gandhi tossed around Lord Shiva's picture using it to take political potshots was outright crass. Even the Speaker requested him to treat the picture with respect.

And while he is warming benches with those who talk of eradicating Sanatana Dharma, it is hard to accept Rahul Gandhi's bona fide respect for Hindu Dharma.

Talking of respect...

During the entirety of his speech, Rahul Gandhi was speaking with his back towards the Speaker. To him, it was a rhetorical address to his own benches than the Speaker, as the parliamentary conduct demands.

His disregard for Parliament's rules is no surprise given his prior antics — the forceful hug to the PM, the eye winks, the flying kisses — and a sense of entitlement for being the scion of the Gandhi clan.

So while...

Rahul Gandhi's fresh enthusiasm as LoP is apparent and even welcome but clearly he is yet to learn the ways of a constitutional post — this one being the first that he's held in two decades of his political career.

Taking a jibe at Gandhi's conduct, even PM Modi got up to remark, "Constitution and democracy has taught me to take LoP's words seriosuly."

It is highly doubtful that Gandhi understood PM's wisecrack. His expressions stated he didn't.

The post of LoP in the past has been held by luminaries like LK Advani and Sushma Swaraj and while it is difficult for Gandhi to meet their exacting standards, he must at least strive to not lower them.

In the words of former Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, "There is still a lot that you have to learn."

Moving on... to Kalki 2898 AD.

It's Time We Told Our Stories Our Way — Kalki 2898 AD Movie Review

Kalki 2898 AD is being considered the most ambitious science fiction-fantasy movie ever made in the Indian film industry.

But with increased budgets and an appetite for stories embedded in our Itihaas, it is time we also strive to do justice to these themes than just ape and force-fit them in the Hollywood tropes.

Aravindan Neelakandan, in his review of the film says, "Now that we've demonstrated our ability to replicate Hollywood's VFX, it's time we told our stories our way."

Here's the link to the complete movie review by Aravindan — Kalki 2898 AD: Mythology Meets Mediocrity.

Until tomorrow then,

Anmol N Jain

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