Express News Service
PATNA: Amid demands by BJP for the inclusion of some chapters on Ramayana in government-run schools and colleges in Bihar, former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi courted controversy by stating that he doesn’t believe the fable to be ‘true’.
Speaking to a local news channel, Manjhi said: “I don’t believe the story of the Ramayana to be true. Ram was not a living and legendry man”.
Manjhi’s party-the Hindustan Awami Morcha (HAM) is one of the constituents of the National Democratic Alliance.
Manjhi sparked uproar in the saffron party when he further termed the existence of Lord Ram “imaginary”.
BJP leaders like Mangal Pandey, Neeraj Singh Babloo, and Prem Ranjan Patel said that the Ramayana has been a guide for humans for centuries.
“If we read history, then we should also read Ramayana. People should read every subject that seeks to give out a positive message,” Pandey said.
Reacting to the Manjhi’s remarks, BJP leader and spokesperson Premranjan Patel said that no one can erase the Ramayana from the human psyche of India.
“Earlier the UPA government had questioned the existence. Whereas when the archaeological department conducted an excavation in Ayodhya, the evidence of the existence of the temple of Lord Rama was found. After which the Supreme Court gave approval for the construction of Ram temple,” he said.
Patel said that whoever doubts the existence of Ram and the Ramayana, must read the Ramayana before making such a statement.
“If one reads the Ramayana, he will never make such a statement. It is a question of the faith of crores of people. No one has the right to raise questions on the faith of people,” he said.