Vrindavan, 2017.04.03 (PTI, AU, DJ) Numerous protests were held throughout Braj yesterday after lawyer-politician Prashant Bhushan’s comments comparing Krishna to a sexual molester or Eve-teaser. Effigies were burnt at various sites in Mathura and Vrindavan after his controversial statement.
The demonstrators also made a complaint to the police for filing a criminal case against Bhushan, Swaraj Abhiyan leader and Supreme Court lawyer.
Bhushan had stoked a controversy by making the comparison of Lord Krishna to so-called Eve-teasers while criticizing the UP government’s effort to clamp down on public sexual harassment, which many feel has reached epidemic proportions in India. The Indian press has inappropriately nicknamed the efforts instigated by newly elected Uttar Pradesh CM Adityanath Yogi as an “anti-Romeo” drive. There is a big difference between “Romeos” and sexual harassers and abusers.
Other groups protesting in Vrindavan were the Vrindavan Lawyers Forum, Dharma Raksha Sangha (which held a “ninda-sabha” in protest), the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, the Garib Ekta Dal, the Tirth Purohit Panda Sabha, and the Brahman Sabha.
Effigies of the lawyer-politician were burnt at several places in Vrindavan, principally the Nagar Palika crossing near the police station, amidst the chanting of slogans. “We all want him to be arrested as he has tried to spoil the environment with his objectionable tweet on Lord Krishna,” said Fuldol Bihari Baba Maharaj, a leading representative of the sant community.
Leading religious and political activist Sadhvi Ritambhara condemned Prashant Bhushan’s comments as a “featherbrained” attack on Hindu culture. She said, “Small-minded people like him make such kinds of controversial statements from time to time in order to undermine India’s national unity. They will be unsuccessful and we should not pay them much attention.”
In Mathura at the Mandi Samiti Chauraha, social activist Tarachand Goswami led a group in burning Mr. Bhushan in effigy. Volunteers for the BJP and its youth wing, Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, did the same at another protest at the Ghiya Mandi in Mathura.
BJP leader Om Prakash Sharma led the protest at the Govardhan police station where a group chanted slogans. They claimed that Prakash Bhushan’s statements were an outrage to Hindu religious sentiments, which is a punishable offense included in India’s hate-speech laws, and demanded action.
Sants in Radha Kund also made statements of displeasure at the incident and burned the image of Bhushan. The Sevait at the Sant Nivas, Raghuvir Das Baba said, “Krishna is the Supreme Brahman. It is unforgivable to make such statements about him.”
Another Sant from the Giriraj Sant Seva Ashram said that people who speak like this cannot be considered true Indians. Baba Laldas Tyagi said that millions of people have been offended by the remarks.
Two FIR applications in Vrindaban and one in Goverdhan have been given to police by local Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha leaders who participated in the effigy-burning, police said.
“Romeo loved just one lady, while Krishna was a legendary Eve teaser. Would (UP CM Yogi) Adityanath have the guts to call his vigilantes Anti-Krishna squads?” Bhushan had tweeted.
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