SP Maurya Slams ‘Custodians of Religion’ for Announcing ‘Rewards to Behead Him’


Last Updated: January 28, 2023, 18:43 IST

Maurya met Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav at the party office in Lucknow today. (Photo: Twitter/@SwamiPMaurya)

Maurya, a prominent OBC leader from Uttar Pradesh, stoked a controversy recently after he alleged that certain verses of the Ramcharitmanas “insult” a large section of the society on the basis of caste and demanded that those be “banned”

Amid furore over his remark on Ramcharitmanas, senior Samajwadi Party leader Swami Prasad Maurya on Friday equated some “custodians of religion” with “terrorists” and “executioners”.

In a tweet in Hindi, Maurya said: “Following a recent statement of mine, some custodians of religion had announced a reward for anyone who would cut my tongue and chop my head off. Had anyone else said this, these custodians would have called him a terrorist. Now, what should these seers, mahants, dharmacharyas and people from a particular caste be called? Terrorists, executioners or the devil?”

Maurya, a prominent OBC leader from Uttar Pradesh, stoked a controversy recently after he alleged that certain verses of the Ramcharitmanas “insult” a large section of the society on the basis of caste and demanded that those be “banned”.

Ramcharitmanas, an epic poem in Awadhi language, is based on the Ramayana and has been composed by 16th-century Bhakti poet Tulsidas.

A case has been registered against Maurya at the Lucknow’s Hazratganj police station for allegedly outraging religious feelings with his remarks on Ramcharitmanas. The case was lodged under relevant sections of IPC, including 295A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), 298 (deliberate intention of wounding religious feelings), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) and 153 A (wanton vilification or attacks upon the religion, race, place of birth, residence etc), police said.

Meanwhile, Maurya met Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav at the party office in Lucknow today.

Maurya had earlier refused to retract his remarks saying he had spoken on a particular verse in Hindu epic poem and not about Lord Ram or any religion. Asked if he still stood by his statement, the SP leader had replied, “Have I said anything wrong that I will go back?” “I give respect to all religions, but no religion or anyone can have the permission to hurl abuses…. I have spoken about banning only a particular portion in which insulting comments have been made on women, tribals, Dalits and backward classes. I have spoken about removing only those parts of the ‘chaupai’,” he added.

“People are associating the comments with Lord Ram, God, religion and the Ramcharitmanas. This shows their narrow mindset,” he said.

A local leader of the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha has announced Rs 51,000 as reward to anyone who would “cut off” his tongue. “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.

(with PTI inputs)

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