Lord Hanuman has been linked to various castes over the past few weeks and yesterday, an Uttar Pradesh BJP leader said he was Muslim. Now another minister in UP has said that Lord Hanuman was a "jat". The minister, Laxmi Narayan Chaudhary, says his assessment is based on the fact that this popular Hindu god has traits similar to the Jat community.
"I think Hanuman ji was a jat, because when a jat sees someone in trouble, he (like Lord Hanuman) jumps in without knowing the issue or the people," the minister told news agency ANI. He added, "Lord Hanuman's behaviour is very similar to that of a jat because after Goddess Sita was kidnapped by Ravan, he immediately came to Lord Ram's help."
Mr Chaudhary, the minister in charge of religious affairs, Dairy Development, Culture, Minority Welfare, Muslim Waqf and Haj, says a lot can be said about a person's lineage from their behaviour.
"Everyone who believes in the Sanatan Dharm would surely worship Lord Hanuman. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has already given explanation on this issue," the minister said.
"When this topic came to my notice, I said that it is through an individual's behaviour that we conclude about one's lineage," the minister added.
On Thursday, Bukkal Nawab, a councillor with the ruling party in Uttar Pradesh, added a new angle to the debate by insisting that Lord Hanuman was a Muslim. But he based his theory only on the name..
"I believe that Lord Hanuman was a Muslim. That is why the names of the people in Islam are almost similar to lord Hanuman, whether it is Rehman, Ramzan, Farman, Zeeshan and Qurban. Such types of names are found in Islam only," he said.
Former BJP parliamentarian Savitri Bai Phule had earlier called Lord Hanuman a Dalit. "Lord Hanuman was a Dalit and a slave of the manuwadi people. He was a Dalit and a human. When he gave his all for Lord Ram, then why he was given a tail and his face blackened? Why was he made a monkey?" she questioned.
The comments on Lord Hanuman started after Yogi Adityanath, the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, said at a rally in Rajasthan last month: "Bajrang Bali (Hanuman) is such a god that he is a forest-dweller, lives in the mountains. Dalits, deprived, he takes everyone along, from east to west, north to south, and unites them all."
A group that calls itself the "Rajasthan Sarv Brahmin Mahasabha" sent the saffron-wearing chief minister a legal notice accusing him of playing on Hanuman's caste for votes in Rajasthan. But Yogi Adityanath's supporters said his speech had been distorted and misinterpreted in a clip on social media in which he seemed to say, without a pause, "Bajrang Bali (Hanuman) is such a god that he is a forest-dweller, lives in the mountains, is a dalit, deprived..."
Various political parties had condemned Mr Adityanath's remarks. Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav asked the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister to disclose the caste of other gods as well.
(With Inputs From ANI)