Senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad today questioned why was Congress leader Sonia Gandhi “silent” on the controversy surrounding remarks on ‘Sanatan Dharma’. Calling her alleged silence “an indication of approval” to what is being said by some Opposition leaders, the BJP leader asserted that his party was proud of the Sanatan tradition, which he said gives an opportunity for all to be equal, regardless of caste or community. The Congress has said it does not agree with the remarks, but Mrs Gandhi hasn’t yet made any individual comment.
“You are your party’s biggest leader, you have all the authority, and your silence on this makes the nation anxious,” Mr Prasad said.
The “silence on all else” but “open, shameless, unending criticism” of Sanatan is very painful. he added, referring to a recent remark by DMK leader Udhayanidhi Stalin, who blamed Sanatan Dharma for promoting division and discrimination among people and said it should be eradicated. “Sanatana (Dharma) ought to be eradicated like malaria, dengue and mosquito and not opposed,” he said.
DMK leader A Raja had also reportedly said ‘Sanatan Dharma’ should be compared to diseases such as AIDS and leprosy that have a social stigma attached to them.
“How low will you go, and for how long, just to get votes?” Mr Prasad said while addressing the media in Delhi and questioned if Sonia Gandhi ever felt like visiting the Ram Temple in Ayodhya. Not even one big Congress leader has visited Ram Janmabhoomi yet, he alleged.
Ravi Shankar Prasad also sought to explain Sanatan Dharma by quoting the Rig Veda.
“Truth is one, wise men interpret it differently,” he said, quoting a couple from the holy scripture.
“That is your path of truth, you are free to walk on it; This is my path of truth and I will walk on it. Respect my path and I will respect yours because both our paths reach one truth which is the ultimate truth — eternal, perennial, individual. This is Sanatan.” he added.
“Why are you insulting Sanatan Dharma just for the sake of votes? Why this shameful denigration of Sanatan?” Mr Prasad repeated.
The Congress last week said it does not agree with the remarks of DMK leaders Udhayanidhi Stalin and A Raja on ‘Sanatan Dharma’ and asserted the party believed in “sarvadharma sambhav” (equal respect to all religions).
The opposition party also asserted that every single member of the INDIA alliance has immense respect for all faiths, communities and beliefs.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK chief MK Stalin had said his son had only spoken about “inhuman principles preached by Sanatan… that discriminate against Scheduled Castes, tribes and women” and “had no intention to offend any religion or religious beliefs”.