NCP leader Jitendra Awhad made controversial statements today by saying that he sometimes feels that festivals like Ram Navami and Hanuman Jayanti are made for riots only. He made this statement while addressing an NCP public rally. The clip of the speech went viral. NCP supremo Sharad Pawar was also present on the stage while Awhad made these remarks.
It seems that the festivals of Ram Navami and Hanuman Jayanti are for riots only. The atmosphere in the cities has deteriorated due to riots. I think the coming years will be the years of religious riots: NCP leader Jitendra Awhad in Mumbai today pic.twitter.com/JirBUGvMZ5
— ANI (@ANI) April 21, 2023
Jitendra Awhad said, “A riot took place in Aurangabad. I mean Ram Navami and what is that festival of Maruti? Haan… Hanuman Jayanti. Are these two festivals made for riots only? The atmosphere in the cities deteriorated during these festivals like never before. According to my understanding of Mumbai City, and the people living in Mumbai and its surroundings, the people of Mumbai and the surrounding area knew that there is some plan behind this all. I otherwise don’t dare to say anything in front of Saheb (Sharad Pawar). But it is my firm opinion that the upcoming year is a year of communal riots.”
— Republic (@republic) April 21, 2023
Jitendra Awhad is known for criticising Hindu traditions and icons under the garb of progressive thoughts. He is an elected MLA of the Muslim-dominated constituency Kalwa-Mumbra in the Thane district near to Mumbai. It is evident why he did not say Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar and deliberately called it Aurangabad in his speech. He was the Housing Development Minister in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government. It is notable that widespread riots took place in various parts of the country on Ram Navami and Hanuman Jayanti this year as the Islamists pelted stones at the processions taken out by Hindus on the occasion of the festivals.
On 30th March 2023, Ram Navami processions were attacked and violence erupted in various places across the country. There were reports of stone-pelting and violence in many cities of the country. One person was killed in West Bengal and one in Maharashtra in these violent incidents. Apart from this, there have also been reports of stones pelting on the Shobha Yatra of Ram Navami in Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh.
Ram Navami or the birth anniversary of Lord Rama is an auspicious occasion in the Hindu calendar year. On that day, Hindus seek blessings from Lord Rama, provide food to the needy, perform rituals, take out processions, and so on. But Islamists have attacked these Ram Navami processions at many places in the country, as part of growing attacks on Hindu festivals.
Instead of calling out these Islamists, Jitendra Awhad put a question mark on the purpose of celebrating these Hindu festivals. He essentially insinuated that Hindus celebrate these festivals because they want to execute the riots.