No one should interfere in religious matters, says Nitish Kumar on Ramcharitmanas row

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday said that no one should interfere in matters of faith and religion and that all religions should be equally respected

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By: Santosh Singh
Updated: 17 January, 2023 3:14 pm IST

Finally, breaking his silence on the ongoing Ramcharitmanas row which has triggered a political crisis in the ruling Mahagathbandhan government in Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday said that no one should interfere in matters of faith and religion and that all religions should be equally respected.

“There should not be any interference with any religion and one should not denigrate any religion. All religions should be equally respected. Let people practice their religion, the way they want to. I have always said this” said Kumar, who is being attacked by the BJP for not sacking Bihar Education Minister Chandrashekhar.

 

“There is no tension, even the Deputy CM has now spoken about this,” he said referring to Tejwashwi’s comments that there is no problem in Mahagathbandhan.

A section of JDU leaders has been extremely vehement in their opposition to Chandrashekhar’s calling Ramcharitmanas, a holy book for Hindus, “an epic that spreads hatred”. Recently, JDU MLC and Neeraj Kumar recited the Ramcharitmanas on Saturday at a Hanuman mandir in Patna’s Rajbansi Nagar while registering a protest against the remarks made by Chandrashekhar.

Many in JDU have demanded an apology from the Bihar minister for his controversial remarks.

Tejashwi during his media interaction on Monday defended the RJD minister’s right to speech while saying that his party considers the constitution to be its holy book. He also said that the alliance is intact and one should focus on real issues like employment and the economy.

Earlier JDU senior leader Upendra Kushwaha had alluded to the fact the RJD is under some pressure to make such statements that eventually help BJP’s cause.  “The statement will directly benefit BJP. The topic he spoke on is the agenda of the BJP. Speaking on its agenda means playing on its pitch. Who will benefit from it? Perhaps, RJD is under some kind of pressure to benefit the BJP,” he said.

Bihar Education Minister had raked up a controversy by calling Ramcharitmanas written by 16th-century Bhakti poet Tulsidas, “an epic that spreads hatred”. He said the book was in the same league as Manusmirit and ‘Bunch of Thoughts’ written by RSS leader MS Golwalkar.

“These epics that spread hatred have come in every age. First, there was Manusmriti, then there was Ramcharitmanas, and after that, there was Golwalkar’s Bunch of thoughts. These books divide our society on hatred,” Sekhar said while interacting with the media during the Graduation ceremony of Nalanda Open University on Wednesday.

Explaining why he feels that Ramcharitmanas spreads hatred and divides society, he said, “The epic has verses in which it’s written that if Adham or neech (backward communities) jaati gets educated, they become poisonous, just like a snake becomes poisonous on consuming milk.”

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