Samajwadi Party (SP) national general secretary Swami Prasad Maurya, who had triggered a political row over the Hindu epic Ramcharitmanas, has now dared Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to get FIRs lodged against those seers who declared a reward for "cutting off my tongue, nose, head, throat".
He has challenged Yogi Adityanath to get an FIR filed against Rashtriya Swayam Sewak (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat for his statement at an event in Mumbai on Sunday in which he said that all people were created equal by God and differences based on caste and sect were made by priests.
"To our maker, we are equal. There is no caste or sect. These differences were created by our priests, which was wrong," Bhagwat said in the backdrop of the political controversy triggered by Maurya who had pointed out that certain verses in Tulsidas's Ramcharitmanas were derogatory to backward classes, Dalits, and women.
Maurya had demanded that either those parts be removed or the entire Ramcharitmanas be banned.
"RSS chief Bhagwat stated that the caste system was the creation of priests. By saying this, the RSS chief has exposed all those who have been abusing backward, Dalits, tribals, and women in the name of religion," Maurya said.
He further said, "Initiatives should be taken for amending the objectionable portions in Ramcharitmanas and all such books, (besides) course curriculum where discriminatory words and expressions are used against any caste or women. It is time to take corrective steps to prevent any problems in the future. I request, if the Hindu dharma has to be protected, then the religious leaders should come forward to eradicate the wrongs."
Maurya also said, "Without using any insulting words against anyone, I only demanded that some sections of Ramcharitmanas be corrected and religious leaders began declaring a bounty for cutting off my tongue, ear, nose, throat, head. Just because I was born in the fourth Varna Shudra, you gave orders. Now, can they issue such bounty on the tongue, nose, and throat of the RSS chief?"
About the FIRs against him and some others over the Ramcharitmanas issue, Maurya said, "Our chief minister is fond of getting FIRs done. Now, the RSS chief also made (remarks) in sync with what I had been saying, so let him get an FIR done against the RSS chief as well."
Maurya said, "Our Prime Minister had, on occasions, said that he had faced discrimination over being born in a backward caste. Imagine, if the prime minister, who is PM for the second time and has been Gujarat chief minister four times, says that he had faced discrimination, then what all people and women in villages must have been facing." (KB/IANS)