Lord Hanuman would never have been remembered by Indians as much as now – in the run up to the general election next year.
What began as Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath suggesting the deity was a deprived Hindu and probably, a Dalit has now snowballed into a saga of unending innuendos.
A certain Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader has now said that Lord Hanuman was a Muslim.
“Humaara maanna hai ki Hanumanji musalmaan thhay. Issliye musalmaanon mein naam rakha jaata hai Rehman, Ramzam, Farman, Zeeshan, Qurbaan. Saare naam kareeb kareeb unke naam se miltey hain [We believe Lord Hanuman was a Muslim. That’s why all the Muslim names are derived from his name],” BJP MLC Bukkal Nawab was quoted as saying by ANI.
This is the third religious identity given to Lord Hanuman — after Hindu and Jain — ever since Adityanath did the honour.
THE HINDU IDENTITY
Adityanath had, during a poll rally in Malakheda of Alwar district last month, said, “Hanuman was a forest dweller, deprived and a Dalit. Bajrang Bali worked to connect all Indian communities together, from north to south and east to west.”
BJP MP Savitribai Phule on December 4 said Lord Hanuman was a slave to manuvadi people. Manuvad comes from the term Manuvada, which denotes the culture of a society governed by Manusmritia code of conduct for human society.
By claiming that Hanuman as a slave to manuvadi people, Phule took a step ahead of Adityanath and referred to him as a tribal.
Rajasthan Sarv Brahmin Mahasabha president Suresh Mishra then sent a notice to Adityanath, accusing him of dragging Lord Hanuman’s caste for political gain for the BJP in the then poll-bound state.
The Congress party even launched a salvo at the BJP through a poster.
The poster was divided into three parts, out of which the second part showed Lord Hanuman coming out of the BJP office, which issues caste certificates, with — wait for it — a Dalit certificate.
HANUMAN WAS A JAIN TOO
Following this, a Jain priest in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, claimed Lord Hanuman was a Jain.
Aacharya Nirbhay Sagar Maharaj, who heads a Jain temple in Samasgad, nearly 25 km from Bhopal, said according to Jain scriptures, Lord Hanuman was a Jain. He was part of the 169 great persons identified in Jainism.
And with Nawab’s recent statement, it looks like this indigenous battle of dividing Gods and Goddesses on the basis of religions is not going to end any time soon. It will only be furthered.