Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav is believed to be unhappy with his party colleague over his remarks on Hindu epic Ramcharitmanas and a press conference may be held on the issue, reported news agency ANI. Several party MLAs have also decided to distance themselves from Maurya’s statement and raised the matter with party chief over the phone, according to the report.
Swami Prasad Maurya courted controversy on Sunday by saying Ramcharitamanas, written by Goswami Tulsidas, promoted social discrimination and spread hated. Speaking to a news channel, the SP leader, who switched over from BJP before 2022 UP assembly elections, said that certain verses of the epic were “casteist and derogatory” to the backward community and Dalits and should be removed.
“Religion is meant for the welfare of humanity and for strengthening it. If there is any insult to a section of society due to certain lines in the Ramcharitamanas on the basis of ‘jaati’, ‘varn’ and ‘varg’, then it is certainly not ‘dharma’, it is ‘adharma’. There are certain lines in which names of castes such as ‘teli’ and ‘kumhaar’ are mentioned,” said Maurya, who is considered a prominent OBC leader in the state.
While the BJP demanded that he apologizes and takes back his statement, seers of Ayodhya and the saffron brigade across the state were up in arms against his controversial remarks. A local leader of the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha on Monday announced ₹51,000 as a reward to anyone who would “cut off” the SP leader’s tongue.
“We carried Swami Prasad Maurya’s effigy for funeral and released it into the Yamuna. The police tried to prevent us from doing so, but there was no stopping for angry activists of the ABHM,” stated Sanjay Jat, spokesperson of the outfit.
“Whoever chops off the tongue of SP leader and former minister in state cabinet, Swami Prasad Maurya, will be rewarded with ₹51,000,” declared Saurabh Sharma, district unit in-charge of ABHM.