Health, Education and Finance Minister and BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma has said that people suffer from life-threatening diseases such as cancer because of sins committed in the past. “Hinduism believes in karmic law and human suffering is linked to karmic deficiency in past life,” said Sarma.
“People cannot compensate for the sins that are committed against the Unseen. Many often wonder why a person has been afflicted by cancer, why a young man has been affected by cancer. But when you see the background, it will be found that it is divine justice, nothing else,” Sarma had said while distributing appointment letters to 248 school teachers at a function in Guwahati on Wednesday.
Calling on school teachers to work sincerely, Sarma wondered why the same teachers who work hard while employed at low wages in private schools do not work with the same zeal once they get government jobs with higher salaries. “That divine justice will always be there. We have to suffer the divine justice. Nobody can escape that,” he said.
“Things done in the past life, in this life, things (my) mother did, (my) father did, may be that this person had not done, but then his father had done something wrong. That divine justice will always be there,” Sarma said. While state Congress leader Debabrata Saikia called it an unfortunate remark that has hurt feelings of cancer patients and sought a public apology, AIUDF leader Aminul Islam said that the Health Minister was merely covering up for his failure to control the spread of cancer in Assam.
On Wednesday, former Union Minister P Chidambaram criticised Sarma: “‘Cancer is divine justice for sins’ says Assam Minister Sharma. That is what switching parties does to a person.” Sarma, who had quit Congress to join the BJP in 2015, countered on Twitter: “Sir, please do not distort. Simply I said that Hinduism believe in karmic law, and human sufferings are linked to karmic deficiency in past life.”