“We should stop the caste-based reservation prevailing in our country. It encourages crows instead of swans. It will be good to stop this reservation to protect our country.”
Tarun Sagar, the Jain Monk who invited wide criticism for delivering a speech in the Haryana Assembly had made this statement, five months earlier, during a press conference conducted in Rohtak, according to a report by Amar Ujala. This statement is nothing but flagrant casteism, for which he could have been booked under section 153-B of Indian Penal Code. Instead, the Haryana government invited Tarun Sagar, the nude monk, to the legislative assembly to deliver a speech about ‘the duties of wife’ and many other political matters.
Tarun Sagar is a monk who believes in the amalgamation of politics with religion. “Hermits have morals and the politicians have power, which can be united for the progress of our country,” said Sagar in an earlier statement.
Earlier statements of the monk have been widely discussed and criticised in the social media by many activists and troll pages.
“Now the burning question is- what is the difference between the thoughts of someone like Pravin Togadia and this Jain Muni Tarun Sagar whom Arvind Kejriwal ‘deeply respects’,” asks Pratik Sinha, an office bearer of the Jan Sangharsh Manch in his Facebook post.
Tarun Sagar had courted controversy many times due to his statements which were made while sharing a stage with Sangh Parivar leaders like Pravin Togadia. He had supported all the inharmonious campaigns like Ghar vapasi, Love Jihad etc by the Sangh Parivar.
“Thousands of Hindus are converted into Islam. But when they come back to their religion then ruckus is created on roads and in Parliament,” said Sagar last year about the Ghar vapasi campaign while participating in the golden jubilee celebrations of VHP, according to a report by News24online.
He also supported the accusations of ‘Love Jihad’ by Muslims. “One Pakistan is already troubling us and there are efforts to create one more over here. Love jihad is a conspiracy to convert Hindu girls to Muslims. Love jihad is the black future for India,” said Sagar.
Nudity of a Jain Monk is a nothing new for the people living in Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat etc. The real question is that whether we have to invite a religious leader to the legislative assembly of a secular-democratic state.
“Even if he was a secular religious leader, he was not supposed to be delivering a speech in the assembly. Politics should not be mixed with the religion. Religious beliefs should be kept as personal, in a secular society,” said Nakul Singh Swahney, a filmmaker who directed the movie ‘Muzaffarnagar Baaqi Hai’.
“Right wing parties like BJP had been doing this for a long time. They would like to have such a religious leader to be highlighted because of their anti-Dalit, anti-Muslim attitudes. Arvind Kejriwal has said that he always respected this guy – Tarun Sagar. He has all the freedom to respect anyone. But he was supposed to come out and openly criticise the BJP for inviting a religious leader to the assembly. AAP leader Ashutosh has shown that courage,” added Swahney.
Aam Aadmi Party leader Ashutosh tweeted that mixing up religion with politics is against the spirit of the constitution. Vishal Dadlani, a popular music composer and an AAP supporter, was booked by the Haryana Police for allegedly hurting the religious feelings of the Jain community through a sarcastic ‘monkery’ tweet.
CPI(M) Haryana state committee has condemned the organisation of Religious Lectures in the Assembly, in a statement published by them.
“The Jain monk said in his statement that the religion should have a control over the politics. He also said that religion is the husband and politics is like the wife ‘who is obliged to obey her husband’. This is a blatant anti-woman statement from a patriarchal mind. This is also against the constitution of our country which says there should not be any discrimination to the citizen by means of religion, caste, gender etc. So the state government should express their stand on this matter,” said the statement.
The issue at hand is not that an naked monk addressed the Haryana assembly. What is concerning is that the Manohar Lal Khattar government has set a precedent and what will follow can be easily be assessed. Mixing of politics and religion has led to devastating results in the past as history has shown. This has most certainly been a naive move by the Haryana government to allow a religious leader to spew venom and pass outrageous and regressive statements standing in the legislative assembly.