Which ministry of the Central government deals with the subject of Hindu identity or controversies associated with it? The Prime Minister office (PMO) or Centre’s culture ministry might not be aware of this, if a correspondence between the two establishments on the subject is anything to go by.
Retired MP’s additional principal chief conservator of Forest JP Sharma wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 8 this year, requesting him to permit the use of ‘Vedic religion’ and ‘Sanatan religion’ in the column for stating religion on government documents and pro forma.
In the letter (a copy of which is available with HT), Sharma said that unlike Buddhism, which was initiated by Siddharta Gautama, Jainism by Mahavir, Islam by Hazrat Mohammad and Christianity by Jesus, there was no information available regarding who initiated Hindutva.
He further says in the letter that traders who came to India from Arab countries via Sindh used to pronounce it as ‘Hind’, thus calling people from the region ‘Hindus’.
The Prime Minister’s office sent the ‘petition’ to the secretary of the ministry of culture through its letter (PMO ID no.: PMOPG/D/2015/0244692, dated October 13, 2015) ‘for action as appropriate’.
However, the culture ministry in its letter dated October 27 to JP Sharma said, “This subject is not related to the culture ministry.”
Talking to HT, JP Sharma said that it was surprising that the government didn’t know which ministry would deal with such an important subject.
He added he would approach the PMO again after waiting for some time to ascertain who the appropriate authority to look into the matter was, since it affected many people in the country.