On Wednesday, Karnataka Minister Priyank Kharge engaged in a war of words with BJP national General Secretary B L Santhosh over controversial remarks made by Udhayanidhi Stalin on the Sanatana Dharma.
“Your ideology opposed Guru Narayan, Basavanna, Babasaheb and continues to do so. No surprises at all. Prove us wrong and let us know that RSS has changed and believes in an equal society. Let me know, when will the RSS have a Dalit or a woman as a Sarsanghchalak?” Kharge asked Santhosh.
Replying to the earlier comments made by Kharge, Santhosh on Wednesday said, “When talking about facts, you term it as WhatsApp university of which Congis are Vice Chancellors. It was evident the other day during Chandrayaan-3 launch. When short of facts this is your ‘comfortable’ pitch.”
Meanwhile, Kharge had raised the issue of caste division earlier, while responding to the post by Santhosh which claimed in connection with the eradication of the Sanatana Dharma remark that “the head can’t be chopped off if there is an infection in the stomach.”
Santhosh, while continuing the argument, addressed Kharge further and said, “You are engaging in discussion. Good. Reform and exploitation are two ways of looking at the problem. From Buddha through Anna Basavanna to Dr. B.R. Ambedkar tried to REFORM society. They were successful in it.”
Santhosh added, “Just some doubts Priyank Sir. Why didn’t Congress allow Dr. B.R. Ambedkar to get elected if they respected him so much? Did you know it was Dattotpant Thengadi, a Pracharak who assisted Dr. B.R. Ambedkar?”
In response, Priyank Kharge maintained, “…”always happy to clear your doubts, sir. If you have read Babasaheb’s writings enough you will not be asking naive questions like these and as usual running away from the real subject and trying to bat on a “comfortable” pitch will not help you as well.”
He said further, “Let me share some historical facts (you will not find these in your WhatsApp University archives.) Babasaheb and Congress had many debates and differences, he himself has written a book. Read it. When he stood from Bombay North Central constituency from the Scheduled Caste Federation party, the Hindu Mahasabha too fought the election against him.”
Kharge added, “Later, Dr. Ambedkar lost his Assembly seat due to Bengal’s division, necessitating fresh elections for Constituent Assembly in West Bengal and when it became evident that Babasaheb could not remain in the Assembly, the Congress recognized his value and decided to work for him. On June 30, 1947, Dr. Rajendra Prasad wrote to B.G. Kher, Prime Minister of Bombay (and) requested him to have Dr. B.R. Ambedkar elected to the Assembly on a Congress ticket.”
Kharge said, “Not only did your ideological gurus oppose Babasaheb but (they) also ran coalition governments with the Muslim League in Bengal and Sind, the North West Frontier Province too earlier. Dattopant Thengadi and Babasaheb’s relationship is a figment of RSS’ imagination and from WhatsApp university, so let it be.”
He added, “Coming to Babasaheb’s conversion to Buddhism and calling his conversion a useless act. Do you know what Savarkar said after Babasaheb converted to Buddhism? He said (that) when these Mahar ‘untouchable’ folk coming from Sanatan Hindu majority villages go back to their villages now after embracing Buddhism at Nagpur, will they be considered as ‘touchables’ only because they have now embraced Buddhism? It is impossible.”
In his post, Kharge stated, “Babasaheb adopted Buddhism because it was the ‘most scientific religion’. In the hymns of the Rig Veda, we see man’s thoughts turned outwards, away from himself, to the world of the gods. Buddhism directed man’s search inwards to the potentiality hidden within himself… Whereas the Vedas are full of “prayer, praise and worship” of gods, Buddhism aims at training the mind to make it act righteously,” Priyank stated in his post.