Rahul Gandhi backs up Muslims, netizens accused him of Hinduphobia for cropping photo of Sumit Antil

News Desk: Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on August 30 asked if the Union government had “sold off” Article 15 and 25 of the Constitution that prohibits discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth and allows freedom to practice and profess any religion respectively.

Mr. Gandhi asked this on Twitter while posting a video that showed ‘instances’ of Muslim men being attacked and asked to chant “Jai Sri Ram”.

“Article 15 and 25 of the Constitution has also been sold?” stated Mr. Gandhi, who has been attacking the government for its monetisation policy with hashtag “India on Sale”.

Separately, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M) in its journal, People’s Democracy, said “everyday violence against Muslims is showing a disturbing pattern” and recounted ‘instances’ of attacks in August alone in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

In the first incident, a 52-year-old autorickshaw driver was said to be attacked by two men in Rajasthan’s Sikar for allegedly refusing to chant “Jai Sri Ram” and “Modi Zindabad”; a bangle seller in Indore was allegedly targeted for selling in a Hindu locality ahead of Rakshabandhan; an e-rickshaw driver allegedly being attacked in Kanpur ignoring the pleas of his minor daughter and finally, a beggar and his sons being kicked in Ajmer for allegedly refusing to chant “Jai Sri Ram”.

The editorial of People’s Democracy said, “More and more, the mobs are emboldened by the knowledge that they can get off scot-free or be treated leniently by the law enforcement authorities”. It alleged that the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan was being utilised by the BJP and the Hindutva forces “to whip up feelings against Muslims and spread Islamophobia”.

It stated, “The stray voices of some fundamentalist Muslim clerics, who have praised the Taliban, have become the pretext for the likes of Adityanath to raise the bogey of Talibanism in India. If only the Hindutva zealots would look at the mirror and see themselves, they would find a mirror image of the Taliban”.

Hindutva netizens accused him of Hinduphobia

In the same day in another incident, Mr Gandhi took to Twitter to congratulate para athlete Sumit Antil for winning gold medal at the ongoing Tokyo Paralympics in javelin throw. Unintentionally, he cropped out the ‘Om’ from the chain Antil is wearing.

Hindutva netizens, however, were quick to point out that the actual image of Antil showed him wearing the ‘Om’ pendant in his chain. Many shared the full image which was shared by Sports Authority of India which had the ‘Om’ pendant very visible. People pointed out that Rahul Gandhi may exclude the ‘Om’ from the picture, but he will not be able to take Hinduism out of the athletes.

Some even pointed out that perhaps Rahul Gandhi wants to put out a message that ‘secularism’ is under threat and hence cropped the ‘Om’.