Row over Ramcharitmanas: SP leader Swami Prasad Maurya booked for controversial remark
Maurya’s statements have been flayed by the seer community across Uttar Pradesh. Some of them have even requested the chief minister to take action against him.
LUCKNOW Samajwadi Party leader Swami Prasad Maurya has stirred the hornet’s nest with his “controversial” remark on Ramcharitmanas. While his comment has drawn flak from several corners, a Lucknow resident has now got an FIR lodged against him for “hurting religious sentiments”. On Tuesday, Shivendra Mishra, who lives in Aishbagh, got an FIR lodged against Maurya at the Hazratganj police station.
Maurya has been booked under IPC sections 295-A, 298, 504, 505(2), and 153-A. Section 295-A deals with deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage the religious feelings of any class by insulting religion or religious beliefs. In the FIR, Mishra claimed that Maurya’s statement on Ramcharitmanas was hurtful to the Hindu community and it stands to divide the community along caste lines.
Earlier, on January 22, Maurya, while speaking to a news channel, said that Ramcharitamanas, written by Goswami Tulsidas in the 17th century, promoted social discrimination and spread hatred. “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 the prominent OBC leader. He added Tulsidas wrote the book for his own pleasure while demanding a ban on the “objectionable portions” of the Ramcharitmanas.
Maurya’s statements have been flayed by the seer community across Uttar Pradesh. Some of them have even requested the chief minister to take action against him. The management of Lete Hanuman Ji temple in Lucknow’s Chowk area has even banned the entry of the SP leader. On Tuesday, the temple management put up a banner at the temple’s main entrance banning Maurya’s entry. “A person who does not have faith in religion should not be allowed to enter a religious site,” said Vivek Tangri of the temple management committee.
SP distances itself from Maurya’s remark, says ‘his personal views don’t reflect party’s stand’
LUCKNOW Finding itself in the eye of the storm due to the Ramcharitmanas controversy, Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party (SP) has distanced itself from its leader Swami Prasad Maurya’s “offensive” remarks against the Ramcharitmanas.
Reacting to the episode, senior SP leader and Jaswant Nagar MLA Shivpal Yadav has said, “Those are his personal views, and not of the party’s. We are followers of Lord Ram and Lord Krishna and their ideals.” Talking to newspersons in Etawah, Shivpal also took a swipe at the BJP saying, “Do the BJP people follow the path shown by Lord Ram? Lord Rama never lied but the BJP people... woh Ram ko bech rahey hain (they are selling the ideals of Lord Ram).”
Before Shivpal, SP MLA Ravidas Mehrotra had also distanced the party from Maurya’s comment. He said, “Leaders should raise public issues and avoid commenting on any religious books.” Some party leaders also are of the view that Swami Prasad Maurya should apologise.
In related development, Shivpal called the deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya a “loudmouth”. He said, “The deputy CM came here to campaign in Mainpuri Lok Sabha bypolls but the people taught him a lesson. Even in the future, we will show him how elections are contested.”