Amid the growing debate on Lord Hanuman’s identity, former Indian cricketer Chetan Chauhan has said that the lord was a sportsperson who is worshipped by many sportsman even today, adding that his caste should not be discussed.
(Hanuman ji kushti ladte the, khiladi bhi the, jitne bhi pehlwan log hain unki pooja karte hain, main unko wahi manta hun, humare isht hain, bhagwan ki koi jaati nahi hoti. Main unko jaati main nahi baantna chahta)
"I believe that he (Lord Hanuman) was a sportsman who use to wrestle with his enemies. All the sportsmen of our country worship him as they require power and energy like him to emerge victorious. The players do not worship him because of his caste. There is no caste of a Saint, there is no caste of a mystic and in the same way, we believe in Hanuman Ji. I consider him as God, I do not want him to get associated with some sought of caste," said Chauhan.
What began as Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath suggesting the deity was a deprived Hindu and probably, a Dalit has now snowballed into a saga of unending innuendos. During an election rally in Malakheda of Alwar district in Rajasthan in November, Yogi Adityanath had reportedly said:
“Hanuman was a forest dweller, deprived and a Dalit. Bajrang Bali worked to connect all Indian communities together, from north to south and east to west”.
“This was his resolve as it was Lord Ram’s wish. Just like him, we should also not rest till we fulfil that wish,” he had added.
Later, on December 20, Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Member of Legislative Council (MLC) Bukkal Nawabclaimed that the deity was a Muslim. Speaking to ANI, Nawab said that Muslim names are "almost similar" to those of Lord Hanuman.
"Humaara maanna hai ki Hanumanji musalmaan thhay. Issliye musalmaanon mein naam rakha jaata hai Rehman, Ramzam, Farman, Zeeshan, Qurbaan. Saare naam kareeb kareeb unke naam se miltey hain."
(I believe that Lord Hanuman was a Muslim. That is why the names of the people in Islam is almost similar to Lord Hanuman, whether it is Rehman, Ramzan, Farman, Zeeshan and Qurban. These names somewhat matches with his name)," he had said.
A Jain priest in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, earlier claimed Lord Hanuman was a Jain.
Aacharya Nirbhay Sagar Maharaj, who heads a Jain temple in Samasgad, nearly 25 km from Bhopal, said according to Jain scriptures, Lord Hanuman was a Jain. He was part of the 169 great persons identified in Jainism.
And just before Chetan Chauhan, Laxmi Narayan, an MLA from the Yogi Adityanath cabinet, has said that Hanuman is a Jat.
"He joined Lord Ram as a servant, hence he has the characteristics of Jat, so I call him a Jat."