Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) on Thursday dismissed attempts to stoke a controversy over Narendra Modi’s purported comparison between temples and toilets.
“We have temples as well as toilets in our village, where is the trouble? I don`t think he has made such a comparison,” senior RSS leader MG Vaidya said.
Yesterday, Narendra Modi, while addressing college students in Delhi, had put away his Hindutva hat and pitched for development, "I am known to be a Hindutva leader. My image does not permit to say so, but I dare to say. My real thought is-- Pehle shauchalaya, phir devalaya` (toilets first, temples later).”
Modi’s assertion on ensuring sanitation comes at a time when the larger Sangh Parivar appears keen to rake up the "temple issue" again ahead of next general elections.
Touting the slogan of development that could take the country on the path of speedy progress, Modi said lakhs of rupees were spent on temples in villages, but there were no toilets there.
Invoking Mahatma Gandhi`s thoughts, he lamented that it was ironic that women in the country had to go in the open for easing themselves in the absence of toilets.
A similar comment on toilets from Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh that the country needs more toilets than temples had stirred a row with a large number of women organisations and NGOs protesting against the remark.