The controversy over Ramcharitmanas and its writer Goswami Tulsidas has escalated to a new level. A posters proclaiming “Garva Se Kaho Hum Shudra Hain” (Proud To Be A Shudra), has is being erected in front of the gate of Samajwadi Party office in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.
While the right wing bodies have been opposing Samajwadi Party leader Swami Prasad Maurya for his remarks and demanding action against him, the backward organisations supported him. To add fuel to the fire, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav has dared UP CM Yogi Adityanath to declare if he belongs to the Shudra community. Akhilesh has said that he would raise this issue in the state assembly and ask the ruling party whether they consider him Shudra or not. Soon after this the workers of Samajwadi Party have erected hoardings with the slogan “Proud To Be Shudra” at many places in Lucknow.
It may be mentioned that SP leader Maurya had termed Ramcharimanas an orthodox literature which contains demeaning verses against Dalit and the backward classes. Irked over this remark, Hindu outfits had demanded action against Maurya and an FIR was lodged against him. Few leaders of other opposition parties too had asked Akhilesh Yadav to take action against Maurya. However, undeterred with the controversy, SP chief has appointed Maurya as the National General Secretary of the party.
Akhilesh backed not just backed Swami Prasad Maurya, he also targeted the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) for indulging in caste bias.
Declaring that he was not against Ramcharitmanas, Akhilesh Yadav said on Monday, “CM Yogi comes from a religious background and I request him to tell the assembly if I belong to Shudra community.”
According to political analysts the SP Chief is trying to mobilize the backward community and the Dalit behind him by proving BJP as a pro-upper caste party. The issue of caste-based census and non-implementation of reservation in the jobs are few of the issues that his party plans to raise in the coming days.
The party is also raising the issue of backward class reservation in the urban local bodies’ elections. Analyst Ashish Awasthi said that SP founder Mulayam Singh Yadav had successfully countered the ‘Kamandal’ card of BJP in 1993 with Mandal issue and tasted power. Now Akhilesh is following the same path to consolidate the backing of backward class to beat the BJP in the coming parliament elections of 2024.
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