Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on September 13 said Sanatana Dharma is the “rashtriya (national) religion” of Bharat.
Against the backdrop of controversial comments on Sanatana Dharma by DMK leader Udhayanidhi Stalin, Mr. Adityanath said it was unfortunate that some people living in India are still insulting the Sanatana Dharma which has been attacked since ancient times.
“Sanatana Dharma is the Rashtriya dharma [national religion] of Bharat. No one can question its perpetuity,” the U.P. Chief Minister said at the unveiling ceremony of Dhwajstambh (flagstaff) at Nath temple in Indore.
Like Sanatana Dharma which has been facing attacks since ancient times, the existence and reality of God too has been questioned, he said.
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"It is unfortunate that even today many people living in Bharat are humiliating Sanatana Dharma. They do not miss any opportunity to attack Indian values, ideals and principles," Mr. Adityanath said.
"Even Ravan had also tried to attack the reality of God but what was the result? Ravan was destroyed by his ego,” he said.
DMK leader and Tamil Nadu Minister Udhayanidhi Stalin recently caused a storm after he claimed Sanatana Dharma is against social justice and that it should be eradicated.
Likening Sanatana Dharma to coronavirus, malaria and dengue, Udhayanidhi Stalin — the son of Chief Minister Mr. Stalin — said such things should not be opposed but destroyed.
A. Raja, another DMK leader, likened Sanatana Dharma to diseases such as leprosy. A former minister during the UPA regime, Mr. Raja also said Udhayanidhi Stalin's remark was soft.
Mr. Adityanath said Mughal ruler Babar had tried to demolish the temple of Lord Ram in Ayodhya, but a grand temple is being constructed at Ram Janmabhoomi after 500 years.
He said "Hindu" is not a religious word but it is a cultural identity of Indians. "Unfortunately, some people have tried to bring the Hindu identity within a narrow ambit".
Amid a political debate over "Bharat vs India", the BJP leader said the country has been addressed as Bharat since ancient times and its citizens have been called "Hindus".
"When Muslims from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh go to Mecca for performing Haj, they are addressed as Hindus in Saudi Arabia," he said.
Mr. Adityanath praised British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who recently visited India to participate in the G-20 summit, for proudly flaunting his Hindu identity.
“Sunak says he is proud to be a Hindu. He has no hesitation in going to the temple, worshipping Gau Mata [cow], sitting in the presence of sants and saying Jai Shri Ram and Jai Siya Ram because his heritage is linked to the sanskara [values] and roots of the Sanatana Dharma”, he added.