Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday attacked the Samajwadi Party over the Ramcharitmanas row, and alleged that it has insulted crores of Hindus living in India and abroad by burning this sacred text.
Replying on the Governor’s address during the Budget session in the UP Legislative Assembly, Adityanath said, ”The office of the Samajwadi Party is running a campaign against ‘Sant Tulsidas’ jee. It (SP office) is making efforts to insult a sacred text like Ramcharitmanas.” Swami Prasad Maurya, who was recently made the general secretary of the SP, had on January 22 alleged that certain portions of the Ramcharitmanas ”insult” a large section of society on the basis of caste and said these should be ”banned”, drawing sharp criticism from various quarters. Last month, a group in Vrindavan had also burnt photocopies of pages allegedly carrying ”objectionable comments on women and Dalits” in Ramcharitmanas, supporting SP leader Swami Prasad Maurya.
Adityanath, while explaining the meaning of the ‘chaupaai’ (verse), to which objection was raised by senior SP leader Swami Prasad Maurya, said, ”when the Ramcharitmanas was composed, what was the condition of the women? It is not hidden from anyone. There were evil practices like child marriages.” The statement by the UP Chief Minister assumes significance, as earlier SP chief Akhilesh Yadav had said he would ask Adityanath in the assembly about the meaning of ‘chaupaai’ (verses).
Adityanath said the Ramcharitmanas is written in Avadhi and suggested that people could have understood the meaning differently because of the language barrier. The UP chief minister said Tulsidas had united the society through Ramlilas. ”The way in which efforts were made to tear the Ramcharitmanas, what would have happened, if this had happened to another religion,” he said.
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Sharpening his attack on the SP, Adityanath said, ”I would like to tell the SP that they should feel proud (of the fact that) Uttar Pradesh is the land of Lord Ram and Lord Krishna. ”It is here that sacred books like Ramcharitmanas and Valmiki Ramayan were composed. It is the land of (rivers) Ganga, Yamuna. It is the land of Sangam (the confluence of rivers Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati). ”The things on which people of UP should feel proud, are you not doing insult 100 crore Hindus living in the country and in the world by burning that sacred religious text?” He added, ”How can anyone accept such anarchy? And, I am reminded of only one line — ‘Jaako Prabhu daarun dukh dinhi, taaki mati pahle har linhi’ (the person whom the God gives grief, he first takes away his mind first).” A cabinet minister in the previous BJP government in the state, Swami Prasad Maurya had resigned and joined the SP before the 2022 Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls.
He contested the election from the Fazilnagar Assembly seat in the Kushinagar district but lost. He was later sent to the legislative council by SP chief Akhilesh Yadav.
On January 24, an FIR was registered against Maurya at the Hazratganj police station over his controversial comments on the ”Ramcharitmanas”.
Another FIR was registered against Maurya and others on January 29 at the PGI police station.