In Rajasthan, a right-wing group sent a legal notice to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for addressing Hindu god, Hanuman as a Dalit. The legal notice has asked for an apology from the Uttar Pradesh CM within three days for his detrimental comments.
Apart from this, Congress has also lodged a complaint with the Election Commission (EC) and Rajasthan’s Chief Electoral Office against CM Yogi for the remark on Lord Hanuman on November 29. Congress’ general Sushil Sharma confirmed the same, as reported by Business Standard. Congress said that CM Yogi’s remarks could disrupt communal harmony.
“Hanuman was deprived and a Dalit”
During an election campaign rally on November 27 at Malakheda in Alwar district Rajasthan, Adityanath addressed the gathering by stating Lord Hanuman as a forest dweller. He also said that Hanuman was deprived and a Dalit, who worked to connect the Indian communities. “Hanuman was a forest dweller, deprived and a Dalit. Bajrang Bali worked to connect all Indian communities together, from north to south and east to west,” he said, as reported by The Indian Express.
Yogi Adityanath further said that Hanuman worked on connecting communities because it was Lord Ram’s wish, he also asked the people to do the same. He further said that the district voters would cast their vote for ‘Ram bhakts’ and not for ‘Ravana’.
Following Adityanath’s statement, Suresh Mishra, president of Rajasthan Sarv Brahmin Mahasabha, sent a legal notice to CM Adityanath, accusation him of using hanuman’s caste for his political gains ahead of state elections on December 7 according to The Indian Express.
Mishra’s notice accused Adityanath’s statements to be an attempt to take political mileage. It alleged that CM wounded religious sentiments of several devotees. “His statement has hurt religious sentiments of several devotees. Those who are deprived they get the strength to fight the odds. It is a sheer attempt to take political mileage in election,” said Mishra.
The Congress blamed the BJP to be dual faced and while accusing CM Yogi of creating communal tension, lodged a complaint against him with the EC.
Pramod Tiwari, the Congress leader criticised CM’s remarks by stating that BJP had started to divide gods by caste after diving individuals and society in the past.
In another development, the chairperson of the National Commission For Scheduled Tribes (NCST), Nand Kumar Sai said that Lord Hanuman was a Tribal not a Dalit. “There is a Hanuman gotra among tribals like there is ‘Giddha’ gotra or ‘Reechh’. There is a ‘Tigga’ gotra as well in which ‘Tigga’ means vanar or monkey. There are various tribal communities and separate gotras. These, like the ‘Garud’ and ‘Reechh’ were part of Lord Ram’s army when he went to war. Hanuman was definitely not a Dalit,” said Sai, as reported by The Times of India.
However, this is not the first time for Yogi Adityanath to get into controversy for his statements. He created commotion in Madhya Pradesh by stating election fights as a fight between Hanuman from the BJP side and Ali from the Congress side. While reacting to a video where Congress leader was asking Muslims to ensure 90% votes from minority community to his party, CM Yogi said, “Keep your Ali, Bajrang Bali is enough for us,” as reported by NDTV.
In Chhattisgarh campaign also Adityanath claimed hanuman to be “one of the most prominent tribal”, as reported by The Times of India. He added that Hanuman helped the localities by protecting them from demons and similarly, BJP is trying to bring up safe and secured Ram Rajya in the state.
He has been in several places for past twenty days in election campaigns, wherein most of the campaigns he uses religious sentiment to attract the crowd. He is continuously being criticised for such biased campaigns statements.
The Logical Indian Take
India, despite being one of the countries with such a large pool of human resource, profound knowledge, talent and intellect is still being counted only as a developing country and has not managed to be counted among the ranks of developed countries, from a very long time. India harbours a great desire to emerge as the superpower not only in Asia but also in the world. It is only possible when concentrated efforts are made in this direction. Our leaders, if they have the will, can make this possible. At the time when many Indian states are going to the polls, the main agenda of the contesting parties should be development. However, our politicians are still trying to gain mileage by again and again leveraging the religious and caste-related emotions among the public. Not only it is unethical and has a potential to entice disharmony, but it is also prohibited. Notably, under Section 123(3) of the Representation of People Act, appeal on the grounds of religion, race, caste etc. and promotions of feelings of enmity between different classes constitute corrupt practice and same could be questioned by a way of an election petition.