In a recent development, Bihar Education Minister and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Chandra Shekhar Yadav has once again found himself in hot water due to his controversial remarks. This time, he referred to ‘Prophet Muhammad’ as ‘Maryada Purushottam,’ a term commonly associated with Lord Rama. The statement, made during an event on Janmashtami in Bihar’s Nalanda district, has ignited a heated political debate and drawn sharp criticism from the Bharatiya Janata Party.
The Controversial Remark
Bihar's Education Minister Chandrashekhar in Nalanda-
"Prophet Muhammad was 'Maryada Purushottam"
The same Minister had earlier advocated the burning of Shri Ramcharitmanas pic.twitter.com/ia5h5DnYEa
— Megh Updates 🚨™ (@MeghUpdates) September 9, 2023
Chandra Shekhar Yadav’s statement, made on September 7, 2023, during an event on Janmashtami, has stirred the political landscape in Bihar. In his speech, he made the assertion that when faith was lost, dishonesty prevailed, and satanism increased in the world, God created ‘Maryada Purushottam Prophet Muhammad Sahib’ in Central Asia. He stated that Islam came into existence to restore faith and counteract dishonesty and satanism. Yadav also emphasized that even if dishonest individuals called themselves Muslims, God did not condone their actions.
Kalma padh le aur khatna kara le, Chandrashekhar. https://t.co/Q4QjXb8nBS
— Sanjay Dixit ಸಂಜಯ್ ದೀಕ್ಷಿತ್ संजय दीक्षित (@Sanjay_Dixit) September 9, 2023
BJP’s Strong Critique
The BJP wasted no time in condemning Chandra Shekhar Yadav’s statement. Danish Iqbal, the media in charge of Bihar BJP, characterized the remark as a prime example of appeasement politics.
He argued that the education minister’s statement had the potential to further divide society. He attributed this divisive strategy to the RJD’s tradition of religious and caste-based politics.
Iqbal continued to express concern over the possible impact of such remarks on social harmony. He called upon Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to take action against the education minister. He asserted that all religions convey messages of peace, and the BJP respects them all.
Arvind Singh, a spokesperson for the BJP, accused the RJD of being driven by a singular family agenda, claiming that the party opportunistically switched between discussing topics like Hindus, Muslims, Ramayana, and Muhammad in order to secure votes. Singh characterized this approach as condemnable and divisive.
This is not the first time Chandra Shekhar Yadav has found himself in the midst of a controversy. Earlier in 2023, he faced backlash for his remarks on Ramcharitmanas, a revered Hindu text. His interpretation of a couplet from the text led to allegations of spreading hatred in society.
In January 2023, Yadav interpreted a couplet as suggesting that individuals from lower castes, including Dalits, backward classes, and women, were not entitled to education. This interpretation was widely disputed as the original verse did not contain the word “poisonous,” as claimed by Yadav. It actually conveyed a sense of happiness and fulfillment after gaining knowledge, similar to a snake drinking milk.
In February 2023, Chandra Shekhar Yadav reiterated his stance, insisting that he would continue to question and criticize Ramcharitmanas. He argued that there were numerous couplets in the text that required revision.