Agra: A day after Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Swami Prasad Maurya alleged that certain verses of the Ramcharitmanas promoted social discrimination, a local leader of the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha on Monday announced Rs 51,000 as reward to anyone who would “cut off” his tongue. Maurya, who is considered a prominent OBC leader in Uttar Pradesh, had said certain portions of the Ramcharitmanas “insult” a large section of society on the basis of caste and demanded that these be “banned”.
“Any courageous person, if they cut off the tongue of SP leader Swami Prasad Maurya, would be rewarded with a Rs 51,000 cheque. He has insulted our religious text and hurted the sentiments of Hindus,” the mahasabha’s district in-charge Saurabh Sharma said. Members of the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha (ABHM) carried a symbolic procession of Maurya, burnt his effigy and threw it into the Yamuna river.
Talking to PTI, ABHM national spokesperson Sanjay Jat said, “We object to the derogatory remark made by SP leader Swami Prasad Maurya.” “When the former cabinet minister was in the BSP, he used to say ‘Jay Bhim, Jai Bharat’, and when he joined the BJP he began respecting the Ramcharitmanas, and now, when he has joined the Samajwadi Party, he has made objectionable remarks against the Ramcharitmanas,” he said.
“We protested against his remark and carried out a mock funeral procession of the SP leader and later burnt his effigy and dumped it into the Yamuna at Rambagh,” Jat said. A member of the legislative council in Uttar Pradesh, Maurya had said that “there are certain lines (in the Ramcharitmanas) in which names of castes such as ‘teli’ and ‘kumhaar’ are mentioned” and because of these “the feelings of lakhs of people hailing from these castes have been hurt”.