NCP (Sharad Pawar faction) leader Jitendra Awhad has courted a controversy with his remarks on Lord Ram.
Awhad stated that Lord Ram couldn't have been a vegetarian as he lived in the jungle for 14 years.
This comes after BJP leader Ram Kadam asked Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde to declare 22 January, the day of the Ram Temple's consecration in Ayodhya, a dry day and a day on which all non-vegetarian food should be banned.
The MLA from the Nationalist Congress Party (Sharad Pawar faction) stated that Lord Ram was a Bahujan, a non-vegetarian, and a hunter.
"We don’t read history and forget everything in politics. Ram is ours. Of us Bahujans. Who used to hunt to eat… Ram was never a vegetarian. He was a non-vegetarian. How can a man who lived in the jungle for 14 years remain a vegetarian,” Jitendra Awhad said, Hindustan Times reported.
BJP MLA Ram Kadam said that if Balasaheb Thackeray were still alive, the Shiv Sena's Saamana newspaper would have condemned the 'Ram non-vegetarian' remark.
"But today's reality is they (Uddhav Sena) do not care if somebody makes fun of the Hindus. They are indifferent, as cold as ice. But when the election comes, they will talk about Hindutva.." Ram Kadam tweeted on Thursday.
Ram Kadam had written a letter to Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, in which he requested that 22 January be recognized as both a dry and veg day.
In response to the uproar caused by his remark, Jitendra Awhad said, "What is the controversy that what did Lord Ram eat? Someone will claim Lord Ram used to eat methi-bhaji (fenugreek leaves fritters) There was no rice at that time. Lord Ram was a Kshatriya and Kshatriyas are non-vegetarians. I absolutely stand by what I said. 80 per cent of India's population are non-vegetarians, they are also devotees of Lord Ram".
Meanwhile, Shri Ram Janambhoomi Teerth Kshetra chief priest Acharya Satyendra Das asserted that the scriptures clearly state that Lord Ram consumed only fruits during his exile.
"What NCP leader Jitendra Awhad is speaking is completely false. It isn't written anywhere in our scriptures that Lord Ram had non-vegetarian food during his exile. It's written that he used to have fruits...Such a liar has no right to insult our Lord Ram...Our God was always vegetarian...He is speaking demeaning words to insult our Lord Ram..." the priest said.
Kuldeep is Senior Editor (Newsroom) at Swarajya. He tweets at @kaydnegi.
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