New Delhi, September 10
Hours after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi invoked Hindu goddesses to attack the government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, without naming Gandhi, lauded the power of forgiveness on Twitter and said forgiveness is the ornament of the brave.
“Forgiveness signifies large heartedness. It is part of our culture to be kind as well as forgiving, and not keep ill feelings towards each other. Michhami Dukkadam,” tweeted the PM after Rahul Gandhi’s comments that the BJP government under the PM had “undermined the powers of goddesses Lakshmi, Durga and Saraswati with its policies such as GST, note ban farm laws and J&K’s bifurcation.
Gandhi also said the symbol of the hand (Congress poll symbol) was visible in the pictures of Lord Mahavira, Guru Nanak, Lord Shiva and Allah.
The PM later this evening tweeted an audio message saying, “The Jains celebrate Paryushan Parva in Bhadra month. The last day of this parv is the day of Samvatsari. It is a wonderful tradition. It is a festival of forgiveness, non-violence and friendship. It is also called Kshama vaani parva. We tell each other Michhami Dukkadam on this day.Our shastras also extol forgiveness as an ornament of the brave.”
The PM added that Mahatma Gandhi always used to say forgiveness is the quality of the strong. “In the Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare dwells on the importance of forgiveness and says that mercy is twice blessed. It blesses him that gives and him that takes. This means the one who forgives and the forgiven are both blessed,” the PM said after the ruling BJP demanded an apology from Gandhi for “hurting Hindu sentiments by comparing GST with goddess Lakshmi having previously called GST gabbar Singh tax.”
Gandhi earlier today, while addressing Congress workers in Jammu, went on to draw comparisons between the Congress Party’s election symbol “hand” and the blessing gestures of Guru Nanak, Allah, Lord Shiva and Lord Mahavira.
“The BJP says it is religious, that it worships goddesses Lakshmi, Durga and Saraswati. Then why are they destroying the powers of Goddesses with their policies? The government attacked the composite culture of J&K. What happened when J&K was stripped of statehood? Was the power of goddesses enhanced or reduced? Now, I am speaking of power. The hand (Congress party’s election symbol) is seen in the pictures of Guru Nanak, Lord Shiva, Lord Mahavira, Allah,” Gandhi said.
He also referred to the three goddesses as “symbols at Mata Vaishno Devi” (where he visited yesterday) saying, “The BJP has undermined the divine powers of goddesses with demonetisation and GST, reduced the powers of Goddess Durga by enacting farm laws and reduced the powers of goddess Saraswati by placing RSS people across institutions.”
The BJP hit back saying Gandhi’s statements were immature and irresponsible and he needed to apologise for equating the Congress Party’s hand symbol with gods.
“Rahul Gandhi after visiting Ma Vaisno Devi has played with the sentiments of the Hindus by saying that the powers of Goddess Durga, Saraswati and Lakshmi have decreased after Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power. He also said the “hand” of Congress is the hand of Wahe Guru. This indeed is hurting the sentiments of millions of Sikhs and Hindus across the world. Rahul Gandhi must apologise. He had the audacity of comparing GST with Mother Lakshmi after earlier calling GST Gabbar Singh Tax. This is unforgivable,” BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said, blaming the Gandhi family for J&K’s problems.
The former Congress chief meanwhile cited MNREGA and high GDP growth under UPA to say the powers of goddess Lakshmi were enhanced under the Congress.