Hyderabad: After caste, now it is Rahul Gandhi’s “gotra” and “janeu” (jandhyam) that is the subject of online discussions, following BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra’s comment. Mr Batra commented that Mr Gandhi is deliberately sporting a “janeu” (scared thread) over his shirt to mislead Hindus into thinking he is religious.
Apparently Mr Gandhi’s antecedents are of great interest. On Twitter he has been called “Vatican gotra ka Brahmin,” a reference to the Italian origin of his mother, which has been a source of unending racist jibes over the years. Congress leaders retorted that Rahul’s gotra is ‘Bharatiya’
National Conference chief Omar Abdullah in a tweet noted pertinently that instead of asking about his gotra he should be “asked what his agenda is, what his plan for job creation is, what his plan for agriculture is, what his plan to combat inflation is.”
Concurring with Mr Abdullah, former TPCC president Ponnala Lakshmaiah said, “In what way is gotra relevant for people’s requirements? It is idiotic and unfortunate on the part of the BJP leader to question Mr Gandhi about his gotra. They should have asked what has been promised, what has been delivered...”
He added that it is “when people cannot answer about their work, the government’s inefficiency in addressing the needs of the nation that they spin out such things”.
BJP leader G Kishan Reddy said, “It is a political mocking comment because he is doing demonstration by wearing jenuedhaari for sake of elections and votes and not for performing prayer. No other politician has ever shown his scared thread but like never before Rahul Gandhi is now showing it in public.”
Ambati Rambabu, YSRC spokesperson said, “It is improper to bring religion, caste and gotras into the political discourse. Rahul Gandhi has his freedom of religion and can belong to any religion or gotra, but making it a key point in politics to get political mileage is unjust. Just because he does not tell his gotra, BJP should not think he is undeserving. Rahul Gandhi’s grandfather and father married into different religions. We cannot say that he belongs to a certain caste or gotra. The way their family has emerged is a great thing in itself as they went beyond caste, region and religion.”
Sanjay Jha remarked that asking about Rahul Gandhi’s gotra is like Donald Trump asking Barack Obama for his birth certificate. “It is the politics of a desperate BJP and it is getting disgusting.”
Chilkur Balaji Chief Priest Rangarajan said, “Neither party understands the importance of the jenuedhaari. The thread is very scared and a mark of respect. The thread ceremony in itself is a big ritual and almost equivalent to marriage. There is no point in mixing both and the parties are evidently confused.”
Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi said on Tuesday, “I am not a ‘Hinduwadi’ leader, but a nationalist leader. I am a leader of every religion, every caste, every language and every class.”