HAM leader and Bihar’s former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi’s abusive remarks against Hindu Dharma, Hindu devi-devatas and the Brahmin community have led to FIRs against him. The Pandas (priests) of his home district Gaya have announced they will not perform rituals and Pind-Daan (offering to ancestors) after his death.
Manjhi, while addressing the people of Mushar community (considered ‘Maha Dalits’) during an event in Patna on December 19, started by degrading Hindu Dharma. He said, “In 1956, Dr. Ambedkar had converted to Buddhism, he died a Buddhist..he had said that Hindu Dharma is such a bad religion.” Manjhi added that when he was young, the prevalence of Satyanaraya Puja (a puja for Bhagwan Vishnu) was not much in their community, but now that had changed to his dismay.
“These days, the prevalence of Satyanarayan Puja is taking place in almost every house in our community. More alarmingly, the harami (Urdu cuss word) Pandits come to our house, conduct Puja but they do not eat food in our houses. They demand money instead,” he said.
मुसर भुइयां समाज की सभा में पूर्व CM जीतन राम मांझी( @jitanrmanjhi) ने पंडितो को गालियाँ बकते हुए दलितों को आंबेडकर के कदमो पर बढ़ने के लिए प्रेरित किया। उन्होंने कहा आंबेडकर हिन्दू नहीं बौद्ध धर्म अपनाकर मरे थे। दलित समाज के सत्यनारायण कथा कराने पर भी मांझी ने उनका मजाक उड़ाया। pic.twitter.com/e5R9sxOQ5a— Falana Dikhana (@FDikhana) December 19, 2021
He went on to further desecrate Dharma and hurt millions of Hindus by stating that Sri Ram is a ‘fictional character’ and not Bhagwan.
When he received heavy criticism for his bigoted and hateful comments, he tried to wriggle out by claiming that the cuss word he had used was directed against his own community. But even as he was trying to do damage control, he against lost control and abused Hindu devi-devatas on camera, reports Navbharat Times.
Manjhi has been an MLA in Bihar since 1980. He has hopped several parties – Congress, Janata Dal, RJD, JDU before starting his own party Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) after he was expelled from JDU for refusing to vacate the CM post that Nitish Kumar had given to him 10 months back. Manjhi joined NDA in 2015, but then ditched it in 2018 for the Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance), only to return to join the NDA government in Bihar in 2020. But he is again showing signs of political restlessness.
“Jitan Ram Manji is a native of Gaya district and the entire Brahmin community has given good support to him. Still, he has not only abused the Brahmin community but also the entire Sanatan Dharma. Hence, when he would die, Pandas would not go to his house for his shradh or Pind-Daan,” said Prem Nath Teyya, the leader of the Panda community of Gaya.
A large number of Pandas assembled at the city’s Vishnupad temple on Monday to participated in a protest march. They have also burnt him in effigy.
“Jitan Ram Manjhi has given disgraceful statements against the Brahmin community to do cheap politics. He has deeply hurt the sentiments of Brahmins. It cannot be tolerated,” Teyya said.
Gaya is famous for Pind-Daan and people from across the country come here to perform the ritual after their family members die. It is the only place where Pind-Daan takes place in the country and hence this place has great importance under Hindu tradition and culture.
As per Ramayana, Bhagwan Rama along with Maa Sita and younger brother Laxmana went to the bank of Falgu river to offer Pind-Daan to his father Dashrath. Since then the tradition has continued.
11 PM, December 21 – The original IANS story has been updated with more details on what Manjhi actually said that led to protests against him.