Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who took on the BJP at the party's Jaipur rally on Sunday and labelled it "power hungry", while seeking to draw a distinction between his Hinduism and Hindutva, said he would not be deterred by attacks on him.
Tweeting his video of his speech, he, in an accompanying message in Hindi, said: "After listening to this, Hindutvawadis will attack me. Go on, I am not afraid."
Addressing the huge gathering in Jaipur during the national rally organised to protest against price rise and inflation, Gandhi fiercely attacked the Central government's policies and said that he is a Hindu but not Hindutvawadi.
Rahul Gandhi stirs Hindutva debate
Elaborating the difference between the two, he said: "Two words cannot mean the same thing. Every word has a different meaning. In our country's politics today, the meaning of Hindu and Hindutva are the same. These are not the same thing, they are two different words and they mean completely different things. I am a Hindu but not a Hindutvawadi. Mahatma Gandhi was a Hindu and Nathuram Godse was a Hindutvawadi."
"No matter whatever happens, a Hindu seeks and spends his whole life in search of truth whereas those of Hindutva spends his whole life in search of power and getting empowered. He will kill anyone for the sake of power. The path of a Hindu is 'Satyagraha' while the path for Hindutva is 'Sattagraha'."
His stance won praise from suspended Congress leader Sanjay Jha, who said: "Rahul Gandhi is doing the right thing. He is exploding the faux politics of the BJP. It is time to tell the people of India the truth. A sustained campaign of exposing BJP's divide and rule game-plan will change things."
(With inputs from IANS)