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BJP's Hindutva is harmless, says Sangliana

BJP's Hindutva is harmless, says Sangliana

Author: Our Staff Reporter
Publication: The Hindu
Date: January 25, 2004
URL: http://www.hindu.com/2004/01/25/stories/2004012502750400.htm

The former Director General of Police, H.T. Sangliana, said here today that the "Hindutva" promoted by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was harmless, and that the term meant "Indianness".

Addressing presspersons, Mr. Sangliana, who was admitted to the BJP by the party President, M. Venkaiah Naidu, in New Delhi on Friday, said that the minorities need not be afraid of Hindutva as the ideology represented by the term was not inimical to their interests.

The former Bangalore City Police Commissioner said that many persons from minority communities, including himself, had mistaken the BJP to be a champion of only the Hindus. But he was convinced by the argument of BJP leaders that Hindutva meant Indianness, and this would not harm the minorities. He felt BJP workers should explain this to minorities.

He said that his well-wishers, including Christians and Muslims, had warned him against joining the BJP as they saw it as a communal party. But, he did not subscribe to this view. The BJP was a national party which was gradually distancing itself from fundamentalist, communal, and sectarian forces after realising that it had made a mistake earlier. He indicated that he was interested in contesting the elections as a BJP candidate. However, he did not say whether he would contest the Lok Sabha or Assembly elections. "I feel that by becoming a national-level player, my coverage will be better, my impact will be better. You can guess my preference," he added.

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