Bhopal: The Mandsaur police of Madhya Pradesh on Sunday arrested an educationist and former District Education Officer (DEO) for writing a comprehensive article on the ideals of secularism with a blend of spirituality in context of Vedas and Lord Jesus on his blog.
The FIR was registered at Narayangarh Police station against Rajendra Prasad Dwivedi, a resident of Bhopal, in November 2020 on the complaint of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) man and advocate Suresh Sahu.
Sahu who hails from Narayangarh of Mandsaur district in his police complaint alleged that Dwivedi has outraged his religious feelings by publishing the content that shows Hinduism in poor light on his blog. Police booked him under section 295 (A), 153 (B) of the Indian Penal Code and sent on judicial custody.
He further alleged that Dwivedi’s blog ‘Pragyapravaah.in’ is in resemblance of RSS’s Prajnapravah.com, a portal that propagates the ideas of Hinduism and nationalism, and he has been publishing articles that propagates the ideas of Christianity.
Confirming it, Town Inspector of Narayanganj Police station Avnish Shrivasta said, “After a long search, we have arrested Rajendra Prasad Dwivedi on Sunday for outraging Hindu sentiments in his blog and presented before the court.”
Dwivedi, who embraced Christianity and took voluntary retirement from State Education Department after serving on various posts as teacher, lecturer and DEO, has published his latest article with title ‘Secular -- Sacred Divide is Non-Existent’ on his blog on March 26. His recent articles were on descent, importance of education, spiritual intelligence and so on. He is also a text book writer and educational administrator at the State Level in the MPSCERT, Directorate of School Education, Madhya Pradesh and Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India.
When contacted, the complainant Sunil Sahu, who claimed his association with RSS’s Prajna Pravah, said, “Dwivedi is a Christian sympathiser and created a blog with a resemblance to RSS’s Prajnapravah.com and propagated the ideas of Christianity while showing Hinduism in poor light in majority of his blogs.”
He further said, “He also inappropriately quoted RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat saying his faith in God has declined during the Covid-19 pandemic, which is fake information. Such a person should not be allowed to be free in society,” he said.
Nevertheless, Dr. Rashmi Dwivedi, wife of accused Rajendra, defended him. She said, “He is a very learned man and served more than two decades in the State Education Department and he can’t defame or write anything against any religion.”
She further said, “He writes the blog after critically evaluating and analysing the facts. It is a baseless case and I’m sure that the court will grant him bail in the next hearing.”
When contacted, Maria Stephen, Public Relation Officer of Christian Community in MP said, “It is another sign of religious intolerance even though the Constitution values the freedom of expression and right to propagate one's own religion. It’s quite similar to the cases which are registered against members of Christian community under the newly passed anti-conversion law.”
“It is the fight between truth and lies, justice and injustice, light and darkness. The lies appear like they are fast in the race but the truth endures forever. I’m hopeful for his bail in the upcoming hearing,” Stephen added.