In the lead-up to the highly anticipated Pran Pratishtha at the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) has stirred controversy by displaying a poster outside the residence of Lalu-Rabri and their son Tejaswi Yadav in Patna. The poster, critical of the Hindu faith, characterises temple worship as a path leading to mental slavery.
Amid numerous posters adorning the Lalu-Rabri residence, this particular one juxtaposes education against temple worshipping, labelling the latter as a route to mental enslavement. Featuring images of Lalu Yadav, Rabri Devi, and Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav, the controversial poster also includes pictures of Buddha, Ashoka, Savitri Bai Phule, and others at the top.
The content on the poster conveys, “Temple means the path of mental slavery and school means the path of light in life. When the temple bell rings, it gives us the message that we are moving toward superstition, hypocrisy, stupidity, and ignorance, and when the school bell rings, we get the message that we are moving toward rational knowledge and scientific light. Now you have to decide which direction you should go,” attributing the quotation to Savitri Bai Phule.
According to the poster, the party is set to organise an event on January 7 in Rohtas to commemorate the birth anniversary of Savitri Bai Phule. Education Minister Chandrashekhar is slated to inaugurate the program, with Minister Anita Devi, former Union Minister Kanti Singh, and former Speaker Uday Narayan Choudhary attending as chief guests.
Allegedly, the poster denigrating temple worship is attributed to Fateh Bahadur Singh Kushwaha, the RJD MLA representing the Dehri Assembly constituency in Rohtas district. Known for consistently making disparaging remarks about Hindu Goddesses, Fateh Bahadur Singh Kushwaha has a history of expressing offensive views on Sanatan Dharma, Hindu Gods, and Goddesses.
Recently, Fateh Bahadur Singh Kushwaha made remarks implying, “It is written in your scripture that Surasati (Saraswati) is the daughter of Brahma, and Brahma ji has given birth to his own daughter. The intention went wrong and he (Brahma) married her. You understand for yourself… Who is worshipped, the one with character or the one without character?”
Continuing his diatribe, he stated, “I am not saying this about character and characterless, this is what Saint Kabirdas has said. I am saying what he said. He further said that there is no statue of Saraswati ji in schools. Should be installed.”
It is noteworthy that Maa Saraswati is revered as the goddess of knowledge, and in Sanatan Dharma, she holds a significant place in worship, being revered in countless households.
Earlier, on October 27, a video featuring Rashtriya Janata Dal MLA Fateh Bahadur Singh circulated widely on social media, drawing attention for his unusual diatribe against the Hindu deity Maa Durga. In his controversial statements, Fateh Bahadur Singh asserted that Lord Shiva created Maa Durga and married her, leading to widespread outrage among Hindus who protested against Singh’s disrespectful comments about Hindu Gods. During this peculiar rant in Rohtas, Bihar, Singh also questioned the goddess’s whereabouts during British atrocities.
During that incident, he stated, “Durga is an imaginary character of an imaginary story,” and raised doubts about the birth of Goddess Durga and the vermilion (Sindur) applied to her. The RJD MLA questioned the grounds on which Durga killed Mahishasura, saying, “Manuwadis say that Durga was created by all the gods. So, Durga is the daughter of all the gods. On the other hand, they say that Durga is the wife of Lord Shiva. But Shiva is one of the gods who created Durga. So, Shiva married his daughter Durga. And why Durga was fighting Mahishasur in the night only? Why would she go there at night?”
In a separate development, the opposition has criticised the upcoming consecration ceremony of the Ram Mandir scheduled for January 22, 2023. Sam Pitroda, Chairman of Indian Overseas Congress and a trusted advisor to Rahul Gandhi, expressed his view on December 26th, stating that “too much importance is being given to religion through the Ram Mandir, and democracy is being undermined.” Pitroda’s comments align with a series of anti-temple remarks he has made in the past.