Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on 13 September stated that Sanatan Dharma is the national religion of the country at the unveiling ceremony of Dhwajstambh (flagstaff) at Nath temple in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. He expressed regret that certain Indian citizens continue to deride the Sanatan Dharma which has long been persecuted.
His comments came against the backdrop of an inflammatory statement on Sanatan Dharma made by Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader and Tamil Nadu Minister Udhayanidhi Stalin at an event called “Eradicate Sanatan Conference” on 2 September in Chennai which led to a massive uproar in the country.
मध्य प्रदेश के इंदौर स्थित श्रीनाथ मंदिर में ध्वज स्तंभ के लोकार्पण कार्यक्रम में… https://t.co/si4bq1JsHN
— Yogi Adityanath (@myogiadityanath) September 13, 2023
The Bharatiya Janata Party stalwart remarked, “Sanatana Dharma is eternal. Nobody can raise any question about its perpetuity. Sanatana Dharma is the national religion of Bharat.” He mentioned that the existence and truth of God have also been questioned, much like Sanatan Dharma which has been under attack since ancient times.
He noted that the nation has been referred to as Bharat since ancient times and its population has been called “Hindus” amid a political argument about “Bharat vs. India”. He stressed that “Hindu” is not a religious word, but the cultural identity of Indians.
“Unfortunately, some people are trying to put the Hindu identity within a narrow ambit. When Muslims from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh go to Mecca for Hajj (holy Muslim pilgrimage) they are addressed as Hindus in Saudi Arabia because it’s not a caste-related word, but a sign of cultural salutation of Bharat.”
He recited two shlokas and highlighted that everybody who resides in Hindustan is referred to as a Hindu. He emphasised, “Those who are trying to erase these concepts of Puranas and the originality of Bharat are trying to deceive history and the present.”
The chief minister complimented the British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and proclaimed, “Britain’s Prime Minister’s forefathers had migrated three generations ago. Rishi Sunak still proudly says he is Hindu which shows the traditions and customs of the heritage they have been following. He is proud to be a Hindu. He has no hesitation in going to the temple, worshipping Gau (cow) Mata, sitting in the presence of saints and saying Jai Shri Ram and Jai Siya Ram because his heritage is linked to the sanskara (values) and roots of the Sanatana Dharma.”
The prime minister of the United Kingdom had conveyed, “I’m a proud Hindu, and that’s how I was raised. That’s how I am,” in an interview in Delhi on 8 September when he came to participate in the G20 Leaders’ Summit.
The BJP leader observed, “There are some people who are cursing Sanatana Dharma. Despite living in Bharat, they don’t hesitate to attack the values, principles and ideals of Bharat. It happened in all periods. It’s also not for the first time that some people have denied the existence of God.”
“It is unfortunate that even today many people living in Bharat are humiliating Sanatan Dharma. They do not miss any opportunity to attack Indian values, ideals and principles. Even Ravan had also tried to attack the reality of God but what was the result,” he asked and voiced that powerful the king was “destroyed by his ego.”
He asserted that Mughal emperor Babar attempted to destroy the temple of Lord Ram in Ayodhya, but 500 years later, a great temple is being built at Ram Janmabhoomi (birthplace).
Derogatory remarks on Sanatan Dharma
Udhayanidhi Stalin, the son of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin compared Sanatan Dharma to the coronavirus, malaria and dengue and alleged that such things should not be opposed but eradicated. Nilgiris MP and deputy general secretary of DMK, A Raja compared leprosy and Sanatan Dharma to one other. He served as a minister in the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA).
The junior Stalin garnered support from the Congress party including son of Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and Karnataka Minister Priyank Kharge, son of veteran Congressman P Chidambaram and Lok Sabha MP Karti P Chidambaram and Tamil Nadu Congress spokesperson and General Secretary Lakshmi Ramachandran for his outrageous statement.
Afterwards, another party leader and Minister in the Tamil Nadu cabinet K Ponmudy claimed that there is no disagreement in the I.N.D.I.A. bloc with respect to eradicating Sanatan Dharma. He further added that all 26 parties in the opposition alliance are united to fight Sanatan Dharma and the coalition was formed solely for this purpose.
CM Yogi in Madhya Pradesh
CM Yogi Adityanath landed at the Indore airport about 1 in the afternoon. He then took a helicopter to Ujjain to visit the Mahakal Temple. He spent some time in Raja Bharthari Gufa as well. He visited Srinath Mandir in South Tukoganj after leaving Rajwada Palace and paid floral respects to Devi Ahilya Bai Holkar on the occasion of her 228th death anniversary.
The 350th anniversary of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s coronation was then commemorated with the launch of a replica of his fort at his statue on the Bhopal Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) Corridor by the chief minister. He also attended a programme at Ravindra Natya Griha that was organised by Ahilya Utsav Samiti before he left for Lucknow.