The BJP on Thursday slammed Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar over the controversial remarks of a member of his Cabinet on Ramcharitmanas, alleging that his government has been hurting Hindu sentiments and wondering if the minister will dare to make similar comments on holy books of other religions.
Bihar’s Education Minister Chandrashekhar, who is from the RJD, has sparked a row, saying Ramcharitmanas penned by Saint Goswami Tulsidas spreads “hatred” in society. He claimed some of its section targets the backward castes.
He has stuck to his guns and added that Manu Smriti, Ramcharitmanas and Bunch of Thoughts (written by RSS ideologue M S Golwalkar) have promoted “hatred” in the society.
Union minister Giriraj Singh said the Bihar government headed by Kumar has used the minister to insult Hindus.
“How long will the Hindus be abused for vote bank politics. Can he dare to make similar comments on Quran (the foundational book of Islam),” he asked.
BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad lashed out at Chandrashekhar, calling him an illiterate steeped in “marxist mindset” and who has no awareness of the country’s traditions and heritage.
“Why is Nitish Kumar silent? He should answer. The country will not tolerate if Lord Ram is disrespected. He should take his (minister) resignation and apologise for hurting the country’s sentiments,” Prasad said.
He also targeted Kumar for his response that he was not aware of the matter and will speak to the minister, saying what kind of a chief minister he is if he is not informed of the issue.
Singh said Hindus will not tolerate such comments disparaging their holy books.
The Congress, which is an ally in the Bihar government, also criticised the minister, calling his remarks absolutely “unacceptable”.
“Any scripture is a reflection and the product of the times from which that scripture comes. Such remarks are absolutely unacceptable to the Congress Party,” party spokesperson Pawan Khera said.