Even as the controversy over Har Har Modi slogan is yet to die down, supporters of BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi have put the party in a spot by putting up posters in Varanasi using a “modified” version of a shloka eulogising Goddess Durga.
The poster to greet the people ahead of Navratri, which begins March 31 and is dedicated to the worship of Goddess Durga, was released at Gurudham Colony outside Renuka Devi Temple. The poster has a picture of Modi flashing a victory sign and a shloka from Durga Saptshati, a religious text describing Durga’s victory over demon Mahishasura, modified to eulogise the leader.
It reads: “Ya Modi Sarvabhuteshu, Rashtrarupen Sansthita, namastasye, namastasye Namo Namah. Roughly translated it means, we worship Modi, who, resides in every human being in the form of the nation.
The Durga Saptshati shloka reads: ‘Ya Devi Sarvabhuteshu, Shakti Rupen Sansthita; namastasyee, namastasyee, namastasyee namo namah’.
The Varanasi BJP unit Friday distanced itself from the poster. City BJP president T S Joshi said: “This initiative was taken completely without our notice. I came to know about the posters from the media this morning. Whatever has been done is completely wrong. The party has nothing to do with it. It was never consulted.”
However, state BJP president, Laxmikant Bajpayee, said in Lucknow that those involved in putting up the posters were BJP men and added that they should not have done so.
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Contacted, Kashi region coordinator of BJP’s Sahitya Prakoshtha (Literature Cell), Ashok Chaurasiya, said: “We had issued the posters on Friday. The party had nothing to do with it. Some enthusiastic workers had coined the slogan.”
Meena Chaubey, the city head of the Literature Cell, said: “It is true that Sahitya Prakoshtha people were present when the posters were released. But this was the handiwork of some highly enthusiastic supporters. I don’t think we can do much to silence them.”
The Cell members, however, avoided the question about whether they were unaware that tweaking of a shloka (sacred hymn) would cause consternation among the Hindu seers, besides the opposition parties.
The latest row comes close on the heels of the controversy generated by the slogan Har Har Modi. It was alleged that BJP was likening Modi to Lord Shiva, as the original chant was Har Har Mahadev. Modi had issued an appeal on twitter not to use to the slogan again.