After a video clip of AAP Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam denouncing Hindu Gods at a public mass religious conversion event went viral, BJP has strongly condemned the move, calling it an insult to Hinduism and Buddhism.
The AAP Minister was at the annual Dhamma Chakra Pravartan Din event that marks Dr BR Ambedkar's conversion to Lord Buddha's faith in October 1956. Dr Ambedkar had taken 22 vows, which includes denouncing Hindu gods that are repeated during these mass conversion events.
Gautam can be heard taking an oath: “I shall have no faith in Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara, nor shall I worship them”. Those who do caste-based politics are traitors, they don’t have any other agenda. They think they have exclusive rights over a religion. They are asking why AAP workers go to temples. Well, those who have faith will go. I have faith in Buddhism, I will go there. No one can force me to follow a religion," Gautam added.
He also tweeted photos from the event:
चलो बुद्ध की ओर मिशन जय भीम बुलाता है।— Rajendra Pal Gautam (@AdvRajendraPal) October 5, 2022
आज "मिशन जय भीम" के तत्वाधान में अशोका विजयदशमी पर डॉ०अंबेडकर भवन रानी झांसी रोड पर 10,000 से ज्यादा बुद्धिजीवियों ने तथागत गौतम बुद्ध के धम्म में घर वापसी कर जाति विहीन व छुआछूत मुक्त भारत बनाने की शपथ ली।
नमो बुद्धाय, जय भीम! pic.twitter.com/sKtxzVRYJt
The BJP has condemned the participation of the AAP minister, calling it an insult to Hinduism and Buddhism. “AAP ministers are attempting to incite riots. The minister should immediately be removed from the party. We are submitting a complaint against him,” BJP MP Manoj Tiwari said.
The BJP's Delhi unit tweeted the video, accusing the AAP minister of “spewing venom” against Hindus. “See how Kejriwal’s minister is spewing venom against Hindus. The anti-Hindu face of the electoral Hindu Kejriwal and AAP has come in front of everyone. The public will soon give a befitting reply to the anti-Hindu AAP. Shame on you, Kejriwal," it tweeted.
देखिए, किस तरह केजरीवाल का मंत्री हिंदुओं के विरूद्ध ज़हर उगल रहा है। चुनावी हिन्दू केजरीवाल और AAP का हिंदू विरोधी चेहरा सबके सामने आ गया है। जनता जल्द हिंदू विरोधी AAP को उचित जवाब देगी। शर्म करो केजरीवाल। pic.twitter.com/vYhmXJtbaq— BJP Delhi (@BJP4Delhi) October 7, 2022
Gautam, who serves as the Social Welfare Minister in the Delhi Cabinet, shot back, reminding the BJP of constitutional rights. “I have faith in Buddhism, why does anyone have trouble with it? Let them complain. The constitution gives us the freedom to follow any religion. BJP is afraid of AAP. They can only lodge fake cases against us,” he said.
Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta also took a dig at Arvind Kejriwal, questioning why he goes to temples during elections when his minister is “making people take an oath” against Hindu Gods.
"Once again the anti-Hindu face of AAP exposed. @ArvindKejriwal The ministers are making people take an oath that I will not believe in any Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh! So what do you go to temples to show during elections? Does Hinduism sting so much in AAP's eyes? Why so much hate?" he tweeted in Hindi.
एक बार फिर AAP का हिंदू विरोधी चेहरा बेनकाब..@ArvindKejriwal के मंत्री लोगों से शपथ दिलवा रहे हैं कि मैं किसी ब्रह्मा, विष्णु, महेश को नहीं मानूंगा!— Adesh Gupta (@adeshguptabjp) October 7, 2022
तो फिर चुनाव के दौरान मंदिरों में क्या दर्शाने के लिए जाते हो?
क्या हिंदू धर्म इतना चुभता है AAP की आंखों में? इतनी नफरत क्यों? pic.twitter.com/beQeYR4LUA
Doubling down on his stand, the AAP minister said he has faith in Buddhism and nobody can force him to follow a religion.
The event was organised by the Jai Bheem Mission founded by Gautam, where nearly 7,000 people, mostly Dalits, embraced Buddhism. The event was also attended by the great-grandnephew of BR Ambedkar, Rajratna Ambedkar.