The Congress has distanced itself from former Home Minister Shivraj Patil's alleged comments about Lord Krishna "talking about jihad" in the Hindu holy book Bhagavad Gita.
Party General Secretary Jairam Ramesh while citing Nehru said that the comments by Patil were unacceptable.
"My senior colleague Shivraj Patil reportedly made some comments on Bhagavad Gita that's unacceptable. Subsequently, he clarified. @INCIndia's stand is clear. Bhagavad Gita is a key foundational pillar of Indian civilisation", said Ramesh on Thursday after the BJP slammed Patil and the Congress for doing partisan politics.
Shivraj Patil was speaking at a book release function event on Thursday. "Not just in Quran, but in Mahabharata also, the part in Gita, Shri Krishna also talks of 'jihad' to Arjun and this thing is not just in Quran or Gita but also in other religion like Christianity," Patil said in Hindi.
Ramesh, while clarifying his party's stand, quoted excerpts from Nehru's 'Discovery of India'. He said, "The message of the Gita is not sectarian or addressed to any particular school of thought. It is universal in its approach for everyone, Brahmin or outcaste: 'All paths lead to Me', it says. It is because of this universality that it has found favour with all classes and schools.
"There is something in it which seems to be capable of being constantly renewed, which does not become out of date with the passing of time ... an inner quality of earnest inquiry and search, of contemplation and action, of balance and equilibrium in spite of conflict and contradiction. There is a poise in it and a unity in the midst of disparity, and its temper is one of supremacy over the changing environment, not by seeking escape from it but fitting in with it.
"During the 2,500 years since it was written, Indian humanity has gone repeatedly through the processes of change and development and decay; experience has succeeded experience, thought has followed thought, but it has always found something living in the Gita, something that fitted into the developing thought and had a freshness and applicability to the spiritual problems that afflict the mind," Ramesh quoted from Nehru's book.