Social activist Swami Agnivesh today accused the Sangh Parivar of propagating communal hatred and urged the people to come together and fight the ‘menace’.
Addressing a seminar with the theme “Standing up to hatred; Violence and intolerance in contemporary India” here, he said people should be told not to fall victim to the “narrow Hindutva propagated by the Sangh Parivar”.
Agnivesh, who was attacked allegedly by a group of BJP affiliated youth wing workers in Jharkhand last month, said this was the time to take up the challenge to fight communal forces.
“Today we need to come together, close our ranks, fight the menace of communalism in the great spirit of saving democracy, Indian constitution and saving the greatest Hindu civilisation,” he said.
Attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the social activist claimed that he along with BJP chief Amit Shah had captured the party and the RSS.
“In a way everything, he (Modi) is like a dictator like Adolf Hitler… Hitler also came to power through democracy and not by an army coup,” Agnivesh said.
Recalling the attack on him in Pakur in Jharkhand, he said “I survived just with the grace of God. The mob would have killed me. I thought I am finished’, the 79-year-old said.
Agnivesh said he was still having pain in the stomach due to the thrashing he received from the mob.
Known for his movement against bonded labour and untouchability, the activist was attacked by the mob before he was to attend a protest by tribals against alleged violation of their rights and land acquisition at Littipada.
His attackers had charged him with speaking against Hindus.
Addressing the seminar, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor came down heavily on the BJP led government at the Centre and claimed communal violence, killing in the name of cow vigilantism had increased in the last four years.
Tharoor alleged that as per Home Ministry statistics 2,920 incidents of communal violence had occurred in the country in the last four years, leaving 389 people dead and scores injured.
He said such incidents had increased as Modi had not come out openly and condemned the killings.
The seminar was organised by the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Development Studies, run by the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee.