A right-wing group in Rajasthan has sent a legal notice to Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath asking him to apologise within three days for his remarks, calling Lord Hanuman a “Dalit”.
During a poll rally in Malakheda of Alwar district on Tuesday, November 27, Adityanath remarked, “ Bajrangbali ek aise lok devta hain, jo swayam vanvasi hain, nirvasi hain, Dalit hain, vanchit hain. Bharatiya samudaye ko Uttar se leke Dakshin tak, purab se paschim tak, sabko jodne ka kaam Bajrangbali karte hain."
“Hanuman is a folk god who himself was a forest dweller, deprived and a Dalit. Bajrang Bali worked to connect all Indian communities together, from north to south and east to west,”Adityanath had said.
He also added that "This was his resolve as it was Lord Ram's wish (to bring Ram Rajya). Just like him, we should also not rest till we fulfil that wish," he added. He also said that the people of the district would vote for 'Ram bhakts' and not 'Ravana'.
Earlier this month, he had claimed that Hanuman was a Dalit tribal as he sought to forge a direct connection with voters in tribal dominated state of Chhattisgarh
Rajasthan Sarv Brahmin Mahasabha president Suresh Mishra has now sent a notice to Adityanath, accusing him of dragging Lord Hanuman's caste for political gain for the BJP in the state where Assembly polls will be held on 7 December.
The notice reads, "I am saddened that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister called Lord Hanuman deprived. His statement has hurt religious sentiments of several devotees. Those who are deprived they get strength to fight the odds. It is a sheer attempt to take political mileage during elections".
Many other sections of Saints and Sadhus have also been enraged by Yogi’s comments and have expressed their displeasure.
Saint-Mahants of Lucknow also said this statement of Yogi wrong. Everyone denies Hanumanji's dalit and disadvantage. They say that “Hanuman was Brahmin, He has also been designated as Kshatriya”
On the other hand, Swami Awadach Acharya of Galata Peetha said that as we have seen, read and heard about Hanumanji, till date there are no accounts of Hanumanji’s caste or varna.. It is inappropriate to divide God into any class, character etc. Hanumanji was not a Dalit
Mahant Radheshyam Tiwari of Chandrapole Bazar Thikana Temple Shri Ramchandraji said, "Hanuman Bahuk suggests that he was given the title of Rajput. he was not deprived either. Hanumanji is Kesari Nandan. Kesari i.e. king. He said - "There is no mention of Bajrangbali being Dalit anywhere in the scriptures." Hanumanji is a tribe of ape, not a dalit The Yogi said this either unknowingly or in the electoral atmosphere.
Adityanath's statements have triggered a political row prompting the Congress to blame the BJP for its "dual face". Congress leader Pramod Tiwari condemned the Adityanath's remarks, saying “the BJP divides individual and the society but it is for the first time that it has divided gods into castes.”
Former Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Digvijay Singh also replied on the Yogi's statements. Digvijay Singh took to Twitter: "The BJP's agenda is that the Ram temple dispute continues, make thousands of crores of idols, join Hanuman ji in the caste, bring science behind the science, and bring the dreams to the public with the help of the supporters."
Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi also tweeted, “Yogi Adityanath has proved that he has no knowledge of dharma by stating this. By using Hanuman for political means is a gross disgrace of the Sanatan dharam, and the BJP should apologise for it. But they have no regrets for not knowing their history or their religion.”
Seeking to defend Yogi’s remarks, BJP MP Udit Raj said on the statement of Yogi, "It has been established that even during Ram Rajya, there used to be Dalits and caste system existed that time. People say that in the election they should not vote according to the caste, but it does not happen. The emphasis of people is more on caste. So, then Yogi has appealed in the name of caste.”
When the BJP MP was asked if there were Dalits in Ramrajya, then when the BJP talks about bringing Ramrajya, then the party does not want to end the caste system? In response,Udit Raj said that if the Ramrajya returns again, then the caste will remain.
The Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath has been on a series of election rallies in the state to campaign for the BJP and its nominees fielded in the upcoming Assembly election. He has been increasingly invoking the name of Lord Ram in poll-bound states amid the growing clamour from Hindu outfits and some BJP leaders to start the construction of a Ram Mandir in Ayodhya.
Analysts view this as BJP’s two-pronged strategy to appeal to a wide base of voters - Adityanath is employed to reinforce “Hindutva narrative” on the other hand Prime Minister Narendra Modi projects himself as the man for development.
However it is worth noting that this is not the first time that Adityanath has tried to use Hanuman to seek votes. Earlier this month, he had claimed that Hanuman was a Dalit tribal as he sought to forge a direct connection with voters in tribal dominated state of Chhattisgarh.