LUCKNOW: Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, who is also the leader of Opposition in the state assembly, on Monday said he plans to ask chief minister Yogi Adityanath on the floor of the House to “translate certain verses of Goswami TulsidasRamcharitmanas and also identify shudras”.
This is the first time that the SP chief has expressed his reservation over some verses in the 16th century epic. Until now, he had maintained a distance from the statement of his party leader Swami Prasad Maurya who had first triggered a row last week stating that the ruling BJP must remove some verses from the book as they were “derogatory and disrespectful” towards “women, Dalits and backwards”.
“No one is against religious scriptures. No one is against Ramcharitmanas. No one is against Lord Ram,” he said, adding that the reservation was only about some specific verses in the epic.
“Since our chief minister is a yogi and comes from a religious seat which has its own history and contribution, I would like to ask him to read a chaupai (a verse of the epic) and translate it,” Akhilesh said. “… Ramcharitmanas par … aur khaskar shudra par … main seedha mukhya mantri ji se poochonga … ki woh humein sadan mein batayen ki shudra kaun kaun hai (I will ask the CM directly about Ramcharitmanas … I will ask him in the House who all are shudras),” he said.
Akhilesh said it was an irony that recently he was on his way to a temple to attend a religious event when “BJP-backed goons” blocked the road and showed him black flags. “Now will the BJP decide who will enter a temple and who will not?” he said.
The SP chief went on to attack the ruling BJP on the issue of renaming Mughal Gardens in Rashtrapati Bhavan as Amrit Udyan. “They have not done anything. So, all that they can do is rename everything. How can they decide on renaming such places? If this continues, one should not be surprised if the BJP would rename you and me as ‘Amrit’,” he said.

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