February 5, 2023

The politics of RJD, SP, AAP are similar in Ramcharitmanas debate

Samajwadi Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal and Aam Aadmi Party may be parties from different states but in some respects their politics are exactly the same. For example, all three parties are working equally in the politics of calling Dalit-backward by insulting Ramcharit Manas. Backward or Dalit leaders of all the three parties opposed the Ramcharit Manas, top party leaders remained silent on the matter and then some upper caste leaders opposed the statement. Ultimately no action was taken against anyone. It is clear that it is part of the political agenda of the parties.

Bihar RJD leader Chandrasekhar started the controversy first. He is the education minister in the Nitish Kumar government and hails from the Yadav community. Citing an illustration of Ramcharit Manas, he said that it is a book that spreads hatred in the society. He called it backward and anti-Dalit on the basis of fourfold. When a controversy started over this, the party’s state president Jagdanand Singh applauded him by patting him on the back without giving an explanation. Big leaders of the party were silent. After the controversy escalated, the party leaders who protested were all upper caste leaders. Sivananda Tiwari on behalf of RJD opposed Chandrasekhar’s statement. After that, RJD spokesperson Mruthinjay Tiwari protested. No Dalit, backward leader opposed Chandrasekhar’s statement.

After this Samajwadi Party leader Swami Prasad Maurya opposed Ramcharit Manas in Uttar Pradesh. Opposing this on the basis of another quatrain, he says that this book is rubbish and should be banned. The interesting fact is that no backward or Dalit leader from the SP side opposed Maurya’s statement. The party was silent on this. The big leaders kept their distance and Manoj Pandey came forward to answer Maurya’s words. He is the Chief Whip of the Samajwadi Party in the Legislative Assembly. Similarly, Aam Aadmi Party MLA Rajendra Pal Gautam supported Bihar Minister Chandrasekhar’s statement. Remember Gautham had already made controversial statements on Hindu scriptures, which forced him to step down as a minister. However, despite the BJP’s claims about his statement on Ramcharit Manas, the party did not take any action.

For this reason it does not appear to be a self-evident statement. It is well thought out and factored into the plan. The ruling party in Bihar and the main opposition party in Uttar Pradesh, which are playing mandal politics, see Hindutva and the temple issue undercutting the aggressive politics of caste. Along with caste politics, these parties have started polluting the source of Lord Ram, Ayodhya and temple politics i.e. Ramcharit Manas. These parties are instilling in Dalits and OBCs that Manas is the book of upper castes and Dalits are anti-backward.

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