Skip to main content
xYOU DESERVE INDEPENDENT, CRITICAL MEDIA. We want readers like you. Support independent critical media.

Bihar Minister Chandra Shekhar Says 'Won't Apologise' Over 'Ramcharitmanas Spread Hate' Remark

Bihar Education Minister Chandra Shekhar, a college teacher turned politician, stated that the 'Ramcharitmanas' says lower caste people become poisonous by getting educated.

Patna: Amid controversy over Bihar Education Minister Chandra Shekhar’s statement that the Hindu epic poem 'Ramcharitmanas' spread hatred, he said on Thursday that he would not apologise.

Chandra Shekhar stood by his comments while the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, Hindu organisations and Hindu saints demanded his apology and removal from his ministerial post.

“I stand by my statement, I have not done anything wrong and there is no need to make an apology for it,” Chandra Shekhar told the media in his reply to the strong criticism of his remark.

Chandra Shekhar, a senior Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader, on Wednesday sparked the row during his speech at the convocation of Patna-based Nalanda Open University. He claimed that religious texts like 'Ramacharitmanas' spread hatred just as 'Manusmriti' and RSS ideologue MS Golwalkar’s ‘Bunch of Thoughts’ created a social divide.

Chandra Shekhar, a college teacher turned politician, stated that the 'Ramcharitmanas', written by Tulsidas, says lower caste people become poisonous by getting educated. He reportedly cited the following couplet from the epic poem: "adham jati me vidya paye, bhayatu yatha dudh pilaye". The couplet literally translates to this -- "lower-caste people become poisonous after getting an education, like a snake after it consumes milk." He further said that people also burnt 'Manusmriti' and opposed 'Bunch of Thoughts' for similar reasons and there is nothing new to it.

However, several BJP leaders criticised Chandra Shekhar for his statement and demanded a public apology. BJP state president Sanjay Jaiswal said Chandrasekhar represents the anti-Hindu tradition of RJD. "Chandrasekhar has exposed his lack of knowledge and he misquoted a couplet in different contexts. We demand Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to sack him because his remark hurt sentiments of crores of Hindus," Jaiswal said.

Senior BJP leaders Samrat Choudhary and Neeraj Kumar Bablu said that Chandra Shekhar needed treatment at a mental hospital as he had lost his mental balance.

A Hindu priest from Ayodhya, Jagadguru Paramhans, claimed that the minister has insulted Sanatanis. Paramhans said Chandra Shekhar should apologise, and CM Nitish Kumar should remove him from his post immediately.

Leaders of the ruling Mahagathbandhan, including RJD, JD-U, Congress, Left parties and HAM, have not yet commented on this issue.

Get the latest reports & analysis with people's perspective on Protests, movements & deep analytical videos, discussions of the current affairs in your Telegram app. Subscribe to NewsClick's Telegram channel & get Real-Time updates on stories, as they get published on our website.

Subscribe Newsclick On Telegram