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The Hindu
The Hindu

BJP fires fresh salvo at Opposition over Sanatana Dharma row

The BJP on Tuesday accused the INDIA bloc of having a hidden agenda to attack Sanatan Dharma for its vote bank politics as it questioned the "silence" of Opposition leaders amid frequent critical remarks by DMK leaders about the faith.

Firing a fresh salvo at the Opposition over the issue, BJP leader and former Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad targeted the Congress leadership saying the longer Sonia Gandhi maintains silence over the matter the more it will be clear that opposing Sanatana Dharma is part of the INDIA bloc's common minimum programme.

ALSO READ | Hindus have to give Sanatana Dharma profundity 

Mr. Prasad seized on a recent comment by a DMK leader that it is the bloc's agenda to oppose Sanatana Dharma, and said what the Tamil Nadu leader has said is right.

 "The BJP will urge this alliance to come out with a categorical resolution that we completely disassociate ourselves (from DMK's criticism) and this is not our agenda," he said at a press conference.

With the DMK linking Sanatana Dharma with the practice of caste discrimination among Hindus to justify its criticism, the BJP leader noted that temples dedicated to revered people from backward castes like Shabir, Kewat and saint Ravidas have been built. 

The Sanatana Dharma believes that one irrespective of his caste and community background can attain God with their devotion, he claimed.

The Congress has maintained that it believes in respecting every faith.

Hitting back, Mr. Prasad said while Opposition leaders from those in the DMK to some in parties like the Rashtriya Janata Dal and Samajwadi Party have been vocal in criticising Sanatana Dharma and holy books associated with Hinduism, can they summon courage to criticise other faiths and their holy figures.

India's culture and heritage are being insulted everyday, he said, asserting that the BJP will reach out to villages across the country over the issue and spoke of vikas (development) and virasat (heritage).

Why this "shameful denigration" of Sanatana, he said, claiming the country will not tolerate insult to it.

He also spoke of the prominence given to the Konark Chakra and ancient Nalanda University during the recent G20 Summit meeting hosted by India.

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