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Clash between BJP and SP on Lord Ram, MLA Raees Sheikh said – this is an attempt to saffronize

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SP MLA Raees Shaikh and Minister Mangal Prabhat Lodha face to face

Mumbai: A fight has broken out between BJP and SP leaders on the issue of Lord Ram in Maharashtra. In fact, Maharashtra Government Minister Mangal Prabhat Lodha has ordered that competitions on the life of ‘Prabhu Shri Ram’ be organized in all BMC schools in Mumbai. Samajwadi Party MLA Raees Shaikh has objected to this and said that why there should be competition about the God of only one religion. Minister Lodha cannot give orders to BMC. He also said that efforts are being made to saffronise the schools.

What did Minister Mangal Prabhat Lodha say?

Mumbai’s Guardian Minister Mangalprabhat Lodha said, ‘Lord Ram’s life is being consecrated after 500 years. There will be enthusiasm all over India on 22nd January. In such a situation, so that the school students can know about Lord Ram, Prabhu Shri Ram competition will be organized. From January 1 to January 15, competitions based on the personality and life of Lord Shri Ram will be organized in all the schools of BMC. According to the interest of the children, singing competition, essay competition, painting and other competitions will be organised.

He said, ‘In this era of social media, it is very important for information related to Lord Ram to reach children. Today’s children do not know much about Lord Ram. Children know about all the cartoons starting from Mickey Mouse but children have very little information about Lord Shri Ram and his Ram Rajya. Therefore, it will not just be a competition but it will be a ritual, an attempt to stay connected to the land of India, the spiritual history of India.

He said, ‘Lord Ram was not just a king but he was an ideal son, ideal husband, ideal father, ideal brother. It is because of Lord Ram that we imagine ‘Ramrajya’. School students should be aware of all these things related to the life of Lord Ram. There is no pressure on students to participate in this competition. Students can participate in this competition voluntarily. It is not appropriate to associate Lord Ram with any one religion. People of every religion say that Ramrajya should come in our country. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has started Ramrajya through public welfare works.

He said, ‘We are organizing this program so that the next generation can know the ideals related to the personality of Lord Ram. It is wrong to think that competition for Lord Ram will lead to saffronisation. If someone organizes a program related to Lord Jesus or Allah, no objection will be taken on it.

What did SP MLA Raees Shaikh say?

Raees Sheikh said, ‘Under the rules, children cannot be taught about any religion in BMC schools. 227 councilors of BMC had already decided together to keep religion away from the education sector. Minister Lodha cannot give any order to BMC, he does not have the authority to do so. As a public representative, he can only request BMC but he does not have the right to give orders. Minister Lodha’s job is only to coordinate with BMC.

Raees said, ‘Children of many other religions also study in BMC schools. It will be decided by the parents and not the ministers about which God the children should read about. This order of Lodha is in a way an attempt to saffronize the schools. Minister Lodha is doing politics through this order. Under the rules, no religious activities of any kind can be done in BMC schools. There are proper rules regarding this.

Raees said, ‘If Mangal Prabhat Lodha has the guts then he should implement it in the entire state. Why is he doing it only in Mumbai, because he has to contest elections in Mumbai. Religion is personal belief. We respect everyone’s faith but keep your religious beliefs at home. Lodha is trying to promote the faith of one religion. Saffronizing education is a very old intention of BMC BJP. Children coming to BMC schools belong to all religions. These children are still learning about all religions. In such a situation, it is not right to put pressure of any one religion on these children. We will raise our voice against this decision of the minister. I myself will write a letter to the Chief Minister and raise this issue in the Assembly.

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