MATHURA: Apparently upset with political leaders linking Lord Hanuman to various castes and communities, Shankaracharya Swami Adhokshjanand Deo Tirth on Tuesday asked the leaders of the ruling BJP to clear stand on the issue.
The revered seersaid that by making disrespectful remarks on the deity, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and other leaders have vitiated the atmosphere in the country and hurt the religious sentiments of majority Hindus.
He demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other top leaders of the BJP should clear the party's stand and bar party functionaries from making such distasteful remarks about Hindu gods and goddesses.
The seer's reaction came days after Uttar Pradesh Religious Affair Minister Laxmi Narayan Chaudhary dubbed Lord Hanuman as a 'Jat', saying like Jats, the deity never tolerated injustice towards anybody, anywhere.
The minister made the remark on Friday after a BJP MLC from the state, Bukkal Nawab, dubbed Lord Hanuman as a 'Muslim' on the ground that his name rhymed with Islamic names like Rahman, Arman, Qurban etc.
During an election rally in Rajasthan, UP CM Adityanath had called the deity a 'Dalit'.
"On one side the BJP, from time to time, has been bringing up the Ram temple issue and on the other, its leaders are making absurd remarks on Hindu gods and goddesses, hurting religious sentiments," Shankaracharya Adhokshajanand Deo Tirth said.
"The Ram temple in Ayodhya will be incomplete without Lord Hanuman as Ram had himself praised Hanuman Ji calling him like his brother Bharat," he said.
If the remark made by Nawab has the BJP high-command's approval, "then the party will have to get a mosque constructed for Lord Hanuman", the seer said.
The Chief Minister had hurt religious sentiments by terming Lord Hanuman a Dalit, even as his office later issued a clarification, claiming that Adityanath was misquoted, the Seer said.
"Adityanath and other leaders' remarks on Hanuman have vitiated the atmosphere in the country," the Shankaracharya said.
Lord Hanuman has been termed a Jat, Thakur, a sportsman and even a Muslim, even though gods and goddesses are above caste and religion, he stated.
Interestingly, Uttar Pradesh Sports Minister and former cricketer Chetan Chauhan had said on Sunday that Hanuman was a sportsperson.
However, he had dismissed his party colleagues' attempts at identifying the deity's caste and said gods don't have castes.
The seer asked the BJP to clear its stand on the remarks and claimed no clarification was issued by the party on the statements on Lord Hanuman.
"The silence by BJP top brass and RSS functionaries (on the remarks on Lord Hanuman) indicates that for the BJP, the Ram temple is a tool to garner votes," he said, adding that the temple in Ayodhya will be constructed by seers and dharmacharyas.
(With Agency inputs)