With his recent claim that the word ‘jihad’ appears in more than just the Quran, former Congress minister Shivraj Patil sparked controversy by saying that it is also mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita and the Christian doctrines.
At a book launch event on Thursday, Patil said that in a portion of the Gita in the Mahabharata, Lord Krishna taught Arjuna lessons on jihad.
“It is not just in Quran, but in Mahabharata also… the part in Gita… Shri Krishna also talks of jihad to Arjuna… and this thing is not just in Quran or Gita but also in Christianity,” claimed Patil.
He said that the Gita also agrees with the concept that if someone does not understand or reciprocate despite having the right intentions and doing the right thing, then one can use force. “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 the Gita is a part,” said the former Lok Sabha speaker and Union minister.
“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 a sword,” added Patil.
The Congress leader continued that if people still don’t comprehend and arrive with weapons despite explaining everything, you cannot run. “That’s what must be understood, it shouldn’t be this concept of making people understand with weapons in hand. You cannot call that jihad, and it cannot be called wrong. This is what must be understood,” he said.
Patil served as Union home minister from 2004 to 2008 and as Speaker of the Lok Sabha from 1991 to 1996. He made these comments at the launch of Congress leader Mohsina Kidwai’s book. Sushil Kumar Shinde, Digvijaya Singh, Dr Shashi Tharoor, and Dr Farooq Abdullah were also present at the launch.
In retaliation to the comments, a BJP statement slammed the Congress’ “vote bank politics”. “After AAP’s Gopal Italia & Rajendra Pal, not to be outdone in Hindu hatred & votebank politics, Congress’ Shivraj Patil says Shri Krishna taught Jihad to Arjun!
BJP spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla tweeted, “Congress coined Hindu/Saffron terror, opposed Ram Mandir, questioned Ram JI’s existence, and said Hindutva = ISIS.”
Additionally, Patil said that he voted for Mallikarjun Kharge in the Congress presidential election. A couple of times in the speech, he called Kharge Khandelwal instead. In his address, Patil attempted to discuss a variety of topics in great detail.