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‘Intercourse on even dates begets male child’ remark: Bhumata Brigade leader Trupti Desai demands police case against Marathi preacher

Nivrutti Maharaj Indurikar during a sermon at Ashti in Beed. File

Nivrutti Maharaj Indurikar during a sermon at Ashti in Beed. File   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Nivrutti Maharaj Indurikar drew the ire of rationalists and other activists when he allegedly remarked that intercourse by a couple on an even date would beget a male child, while on an odd date would result in the birth of a girl.

Gender rights activist and Bhumata Brigade leader Trupti Desai has demanded a police case be lodged against Marathi kirtankar (preacher) Nivrutti Maharaj Indurikar. He drew the ire of rationalists and other activists when he allegedly remarked that intercourse by a couple on an even date would beget a male child, while on an odd date would result in the birth of a girl during a sermon in Ahmednagar district.

Ms. Desai, who submitted a proposal to the Ahmednagar District Police authorities, urged that a case be lodged against him within four days.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Mr. Indurikar apologised for his remarks. “I regret if my remarks have hurt anyone’s feelings. That was never my intention. Through my sermons for the past 26 years, I have always laid great stress on rooting out blind faith and working towards social enlightenment,” he said in a hand-written note on his own letterhead. He further claimed that his remarks had been taken out of context.

Large following

Known for addressing social issues through his sermons by deploying witty though hard-edged satire, the preacher has a large following in the State among both men and women. A follower of the kirtankar from Ahmednagar, Smita Ashtekar, allegedly threatened Ms. Desai on social media if the latter dared to enter the district, while other supporters of Mr. Indurikar protested Ms. Desai’s entry into the district by waving black flags at her.

 

However, Ms. Desai remained unperturbed at these demonstrations, vowing not to rest until a police case was lodged against the preacher.

“He [Indurikar] has been known to make derogatory remarks against women in his sermons. I have already spoken regarding this with Home Minister Anil Deshmukh who has assured me that an inquiry would be conducted in this case… People should know that the Home Ministry is on the side of the women of this State and not on that of some preacher who makes offensive remarks against them,” said Ms. Desai, who submitted a proposal to Ahmednagar District Superintendent of Police Sagar Patil, urging that a First Information Report (FIR) be lodged against Mr. Indurikar.

Action demanded

Earlier, the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (MANS), too, had demanded a police case against the preacher on grounds that his comments violated provisions of the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act.

Ms. Desai made news with her highly publicised temple-entry “crusades” over the past few years to demolish gender barriers at shrines across Maharashtra, which finally led to temple trustees opening the inner sanctum of the historic Shani Shingnapur Temple in Ahmednagar district to women in April 2016.

She had also mounted a combative campaign to seek entry for women to the core area of the Haji Ali Dargah, and has written more than once to the trustees of the Sabarimala Temple in Kerala, demanding entry to women of all ages into the famous hill shrine.

‘No case’

Earlier, Minister of State for Women and Child Welfare Bacchu Kadu had said that the State government would not be filing a case against Mr. Indurikar as the latter was working towards enlightening people.

The preacher received support from Bharatiya Janata Party State president Chandrakant Patil, who, though stating that Mr. Indurikar should not have made such controversial comments, nevertheless remarked that the party backed him.

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Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 7:26:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/intercourse-on-even-dates-begets-male-child-remark-bhumata-brigade-leader-trupti-desai-demands-police-case-against-marathi-preacher/article30852459.ece

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