Stirring a 'religious' controversy, senior Congress leader Rashid Alvi on Thursday, claimed that 'not all those who say Jai Shri Ram are saints'. Addressing the Kalki Mahotsav at Uttar Pradesh's Sambhal, Alvi narrated a story from Ramayan where a 'demon' in the guise of a saint attempts to trick Lord Hanuman but is foiled by a cursed 'apsara' (nymph). The nymph allegedly points out to Hanuman that the saint who was urging him to 'have a bath and chant Jai Shri Ram' was a demon.
Alvi narrated, "Hanuman ji climbs down gets down on the saint's feet, but the devil wanted to waste his time. He says first go to Mansarovar, take a bath as Jai Shri Ram is not chanted without taking a bath". Commenting on the present, he added, "Today, however, many say Jai Shri Ram".
He continued, "On the way, a crocodile grabs the feet of Hanuman. But it was an apsara under someone's curse. She changes back and tells Hanumanji 'why are you wasting your time? You have to leave before the sunrise with the Sanjeevani booti and this man sitting right in front of you chanting Jai Shri Ram. He is not a saint, he is a devil."
Picking a moral for today's times, he said, "This is what I wanted to say that today as well a lot of people chant Jai Shri Ram. Not all of them are saints. Some are monsters. We need to be smart".
Stung by his remarks, BJP I-T chief Amit Malviya lamented, "After Salman Khurshid, now Congress leader Rashid Alvi is calling those who say Jai Shri Ram as demons. How much poison is mixed in the thoughts of the Congress towards the devotees of Ram?". On the same day, Khurshid kicked up a controversy comparing Hindutva to radical jihadist groups like ISIS and Boko Haram in his new book 'Sunrise over Ayodhya'.
सलमान ख़ुर्शीद के बाद अब कांग्रेस के नेता राशिद अल्वी जय श्री राम कहने वालों को निशाचर (राक्षस) बता रहे हैं।— Amit Malviya (@amitmalviya) November 12, 2021
राम भक्तों के प्रति कांग्रेस के विचारों में कितना ज़हर घुला हुआ है। pic.twitter.com/kHG3vXSpDW
Defending his statements, Alvi said, "My speech was well received by the many saints present at the venue. I did not say that those who say Jai Shri Ram are 'Rakshasas' (demons). I said that all those who say 'Jai Shri Ram' are not munis (sages). Ram is a matter of faith and above politicisation. I have said that there should be Ram Rajya in India where there is no hate. BJP has the habit of taking every word and exploiting it".