Ahead of the upcoming Gujarat state assembly election scheduled for December 1 and 5, Congress candidate Indranil Rajguru has sparked a controversy by claiming that ‘Allah’ and ‘Mahadev’ are both the same to him.
“Whether I go to Somnath with Hindu pilgrims in bus, with Muslim pilgrims to Ajmer in train, it gives me equal happiness,” he said.
“In my opinion, there is Allah in Somnath and Mahadev in Ajmer,” said Rajguru. After hailing Mahadev, i.e. Lord Shiva, he asked the crowd to let those who want to divide people know that they cannot win. He then chanted, “Allahu Akbar (Allah is the greatest).”
The events transpired during a public gathering that was being addressed by Rajguru at Jangleshwar, in Rajkot. Rajkot will go to the polls in the first phase, on December 1. Originally elected in 2012, Rajguru represents the Rajkot East constituency as part of the Congress. He became a member of the Aam Aadmi Party in April 2022, which was followed by a return to the Congress party earlier this month. According to his rival Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Uday Kangad, Rajguru’s comments are objectionable to Hindus.
Ajmer is known for Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti’s shrine, while Somnath is known for Lord Mahadev’s temple. On Sunday, Rajguru’s comments went viral on social media, prompting him to further respond, “A clip of mine saying ‘Allahu Akbar’ has surfaced. In the same clip, people should also listen to 5,000 Muslims chanting ‘Har Har Mahadev’.”
“I asked them (the public gathering) that if I do not feel ashamed in taking Allah’s name, then should you feel ashamed of taking the name of Mahadev? When I said ‘Allahu Akbar’, then 5,000 people chanted ‘Har Har Mahadev’. This is the reality of the video,” said Rajguru, who claims that an excerpt of his speech in which he says ‘Allahu Akbar’ was made viral by the BJP without context.
BJP candidate Uday Kangad, who is running against Rajguru from Rajkot East, said, “There is a great difference. Such a statement is objectionable to the Hindu community… Somnath is revered across the country… is the first jyotirlinga. One should not say something like this.”
Rajguru’s statements have been strongly condemned by religious leader Chaitanya Shambhu Maharaj based out of Ahmedabad. “This is an example of how low a person can stoop for votes. By such a statement he has insulted not just the Hindus but also Muslims…This is just an attempt to woo Hindu and Muslim voters,” he claimed.