In a recent event commemorating the death anniversary of tribal leader Birsa Munda in Dhar district, Madhya Pradesh, Congress MLA Umang Singhar sparked a heated debate by referring to Hindu god Lord Hanuman as an 'Adivasi' or tribal. Singhar argued that the apes mentioned in the Ramayana were actually tribals who assisted Lord Ram in reaching Lanka.
Singhar stated, "Adivasis who lived in the jungles helped Lord Ram reach Lanka. Some have called them Vanar Sena (ape army). However, these are just stories. Hanuman was also an Adivasi, and we descended from him."
The remarks immediately drew strong reactions from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), with Hitesh Bajpai, the state party spokesperson, considering it an insult. Bajpai criticized the Congress for not acknowledging Lord Hanuman as a deity and accused them of endorsing conversions akin to Catholic priests.
In response, the former Madhya Pradesh forest minister and Congress leader demanded an apology from Bajpai for demeaning tribals and hurting their sentiments.
This incident follows a similar statement made by tribal Congress MLA Arjun Singh Kakodia last month in Seoni district. Kakodia claimed that Lord Shiva was a tribal who consumed poison to save the world during a public gathering attended by Kamal Nath, the former Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh.
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