Swami Prasad Maurya, a prominent and controversial Samajwadi Party leader and MLA, has once again stirred controversy with his remarks targeting Hindus and ridiculing the Pran Pratishtha (consecration ceremony) of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. The ceremony, which took place on January 22nd this year, was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and numerous other dignitaries.
In a recent address in the Uttar Pradesh assembly, Maurya continued his anti-Hindu stance by disparaging the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). He labelled the ceremony as “unnecessary” and even went as far as to derogatively refer to Bhagwan Ram as “lifeless” during his vehement criticism of the event. His remarks prompted protests from BJP legislators.
Maurya asserted, “They have taken a lot of credit for the Pran Pratishtha of Ram Lalla. It appears as if there was no Bhagwan Ram before the Bharatiya Janata Party government.” He questioned the need for the ceremony, emphasising that Bhagwan Ram has been worshipped in Ayodhya for millennia, and criticised the exclusion of devotees from the event, which he described as monopolised by the BJP, VHP, and RSS.
He further criticised the allocation of resources for the ceremony, stating, “What was the objective of arranging such a grand ceremony by spending crores of rupees for Bhagwan Ram who is already being worshipped for millennia?” Maurya also questioned the necessity of the Pran Pratishtha ritual for a deity already revered for centuries.
When confronted about his controversial remarks by the speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Maurya refused to back down, challenging her to identify any objectionable statements in his address.
In a subsequent statement, Maurya accused the BJP of using the event to divert attention from pressing issues such as unemployment and inflation. He criticised the government’s focus on religious events and alleged that the ceremony was a politically motivated distraction.
Maurya’s controversial remarks are not new. In the past, he has justified the Uttar Pradesh government’s ‘shoot at sight’ order issued during the Ram Mandir movement in 1990, which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of unarmed Karsevaks. He defended the decision as necessary to maintain peace and uphold the law in the face of widespread vandalism.
It is important to note that ‘Pran Pratishtha’ is a Hindu ritual that consecrates an idol in the sanctum sanctorum of a temple. However, Maurya’s comments have sparked criticism and reignited debates over religious ceremonies and their political implications.