Dikshit accuses BJP of misusing religion

March 27th, 2008 - 10:45 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, March 27 (IANS) Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit Thursday accused the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of “misusing the name of Lord Ram to derive political mileage.” Replying to the BJP’s allegation of “a systematic and deliberate attempt to malign Hindu gods and goddesses” in the state assembly Thursday, Dikshit said that the opposition leaders were making politically motivated efforts in view of the forthcoming elections.

Not satisfied with Dikshit’s reply, the BJP members staged a walkout.

“Efforts to capitalise on Lord Ram’s name for political gains will not be tolerated. The BJP does not have exclusive right over Lord Ram. He belongs to everyone,” she said.

She said the BJP had tried to present a forged document in the house and their action was part of an on-going motivated plan to ignite issue of so-called objectionable textbook of Delhi University (DU).

The BJP legislators led by Leader of Opposition Jagdish Mukhi Wednesday raised the issue a Delhi University graduate-level history book containing objectionable observations about Hindu gods and goddesses.

The book under controversy includes an essay by the late poet and literary critic A.K. Ramanujan titled “Three Hundred Ramayanas: Five Examples and Three Thoughts on Translation”, and is part of the university’s Bachelor of Arts (BA) programme as a recommended reading for history.

The BJP has alleged that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s daughter Upinder Singh, who teaches at the university’s history department, was among the teachers behind the compilation of essays.

The university has already denied any role of Upinder Singh in compiling the essays.

Dikshit Thursday placed a copy of the pressnote prepared by Delhi University’s Department of History which stated, “Prof. Ramanujan in his article has illustrated and analyzed the great dynamism and variety in what he described as the telling of story of Rama within India and across the world.”

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