Prisoners in UP Compelled to Chant Hindu Mantras, Samajwadi Leader Objects

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SP leader Swami Prasad Maurya, who often hogs the limelight with his statements against Hindu religion and Hindu deities, said: “Our Constitution is secular and non-denominational. Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis — all are equal before the Constitution.”

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI — Outspoken Samajwadi Party (SP) leader and the party’s National Secretary General, Swami Prasad Maurya, has slammed prison authorities in Uttar Pradesh for allegedly compelling undertrials to chant Hanuman chalisa (a Hindu psalm) in the jail premises.

“It is against the spirit of the Constitution. It is not the government’s job to promote religion. The government should just govern,” he said.

“Government positions encouraging religious programmes for any particular community is motivating communalism,” media reports on Wednesday quoted Maurya as saying.

The Samajwadi Party leader, who often hogs the limelight with his statements against Hindu religion and Hindu deities, said: “Our Constitution is secular and non-denominational. Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis — all are equal before the Constitution. Therefore, conducting any programme specific to a particular religion in any government institution is considered sectarian violence.”

Hitting out at Uttar Pradesh Prison Minister Dharamveer Prajapati, Maurya said, “While taking the oath of office, perhaps the minister is not adhering to the commitments he made.”

Maurya was responding to Prajapati’s clarification that the prisoners were reciting the Hanuman chalisa “willingly”.

“Prisoners recite the Hanuman Chalisa and Sunderkand Path on Saturdays and Tuesdays willingly. There is no motive to forcefully ask the prisoners to recite the Hanuman chalisa or Sunderkand Path,” the prison minister had said.

“Our only motive is that whoever believes in whatever religion can read the religious texts or chant mantras,” he said.

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