Amid Row Over “Jihad Also In Gita” Remark, Ex Union Minister Clarifies

Row Over Ex-Union Minister Remarks


The BJP hit out at the “votebank politics” of the Congress.

New Delhi:

Former Home Minister and Congress veteran Shivraj Patil, facing bitter criticism by the BJP for “Hindu hatred” over his recent remark that the concept of jihad was not just in Islam but also in Bhagavad Gita and in Christianity, today sought to firefight the controversy saying jihad is an act of killing anyone who speaks the truth. Lord Krishna also taught lessons of jihad to Arjun in a part of Gita in the Mahabharat, he had said.

“If you kill Mahatma Gandhi, it is jihad. The act of killing him is jihad,” the 87-year-old leader told news agency ANI, dismissing allegations that he said Lord Krishna taught lessons of jihad.

“Who killed Mahatma Gandhi?” he asked reporters. When asked if that person was a jihadi, he said the act of that murder was jihad.

Mr Patil had made the controversial remark at a book launch event in the national capital on Thursday, drawing flak from the BJP, which hit out at the Congress for “Hindu hatred” and “vote bank politics.”

“It’s said there is a lot of discussion on Jihad in Islam religion…Even after all efforts, if someone doesn’t understand clean ideas, then power can be used. It is not just in the Quran Sharif, but also in the Mahabharata, of which Gita is a part,” Mr Patil had said.

“Shri Krishna also talks to Arjuna about jihad. It is not like this is only in the Quran Sharif or the Gita but in Christianity also it is written…Christ has said that I have not come here to establish peace, but I have come here with sword,” he had said.

Speaking in Hindi, the Congress leader had said that “if even after explaining everything, people do not understand, and they are arriving with weapons then you cannot run, you cannot call that jihad, and you cannot call it wrong, this is what must be understood, there should not be this concept of making people understand with weapons in hand.”

Mr Patil who was Union home minister from 2004 to 2008 and the Speaker of the Lok Sabha from 1991 to 1996 was addressing the audience at a book launch of Congress leader and former Union Minister Mohsina Kidwai. Among the other dignitaries present at the launch were Shashi Tharoor, Digvijaya Singh, Farooq Abdullah and Sushil Kumar Shinde.

He further said Mohsina Kidwai’s book also talks about respecting all religions while following your own. He also said there is a need for peace in the world.

Meanwhile, the BJP hit out at the “votebank politics” of the Congress.

“After AAP’s Gopal Italia & Rajendra Pal, not to be outdone in Hindu hatred & vote bank politics, Congress’ Shivraj Patil says Shri Krishna taught “Jihad” to Arjun! Congress coined Hindu/Saffron terror, opposed Ram Mandir, Questioned Ram JI’s existence, said Hindutva = ISIS,” BJP spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla had tweeted.


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