Hindu holy books such as the Gita, Ramayana and Mahabharata are “ideal granths (texts)” that teach moral values and don’t prescribe any particular faith while the Bible and Quran are purely religious books, culture minister Mahesh Sharma said on Saturday.
The 56-year-old BJP leader refuted the Congress charge that the Centre was trying to change history, but said historical records may need corrections or clarifications from time-to-time, especially in the light of revelations made by a batch of 64 files related to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
“Why did it take so much time to take out the papers of Subhas Chandra Bose? We should also see if there are any other facts related to history that should be brought to the notice of the people,” he said in an interview to HT.
The recently declassified documents indicated the firebrand Bose may have survived a purported air crash in 1945 and proved the Centre was snooping on his family for decades after independence, creating uproar.
“Ramayana talks about the relation between family members, Mahabharata is about a war between Pandavas and Kauravas. They don’t teach prayer style. They are ideal granths,” he said.
But Sharma – who in the past has recommended Gita and Ramayana be a part of school curricula – said the good things of the Bible and Quran should also be taught.
Mahesh Sharma's full interview
“The policies of our Prime Minister revolve around taking all Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians together,” he said.
He also said there was no other place better for a Ram Museum than his purported birthplace of Ayodhya.
“The Ramayana circuit has a vast spread through even Nepal and Sri Lanka but for a museum on Lord Ram, no other place can be better than Ayodhya.”
The Union minister has found himself in the middle of a political storm in recent weeks over a host of controversial comments regarding women, religion and culture but said he was quoted out of context.
Sharma said he was proud to be a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and there was nothing wrong in seeking suggestions from the RSS because it wasn’t involved in any anti-national activity. He, however, clarified the Sangh never gave directives to the government.