Feroze Varun Gandhi, detained under the National Security Act at Etah district jail of Uttar Pradesh for delivering hate speeches against minorities, is now spending time at his cell reading the Gita and the Ramayana.
The cue probably has come from his cousin Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. During a visit to her brother Rahul Gandhi’s constituency Amethi on March 23, she said: “I would advise him (Varun) to read the Gita and try to understand it.”
On March 8, Varun Gandhi spat venom against Muslims at a rally at Barkhera in Pilibhit, from where he is contesting the Lok Sabha elections on Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ticket.
He said, “Main Gita ki kasam kha kar kahta hoon jo haath aap par uthengey Varun Gandhi us haath ko kaat dalega (I swear by the Gita that I will cut off the hands that try to harm you).”
Jail superintendent Viresh Raj Sharma said the 29-year-old Gandhi had now been reading the English versions of the Gita and the Ramayana every day. He said, “Whenever a visitor drops in, Varun shares the ideals of the Gita with him.”
The BJP legislator from Etah, Pragyapalan, told Hindustan Times, “On Friday, when I met Varun in the jail, he discussed the teachings of the Gita. Varun told me that he was reading the Ramayana simultaneously.”
Sharma said, “Varun told me that he would also like to read books on international politics and a few novels. The list of books has been forwarded to the jail administration and to (his mother) Maneka Gandhi.”
When asked if Gandhi was ill or was suffering from diabetes, Sharma said Gandhi underwent medical check-ups twice a day and nothing had been found so far.