Triggering another row over the selection of Bharat Ratna awardees, yoga guru Ramdev has said that while Mother Teresa, being a Christian, had been conferred the award, no Hindu saint till now had received the nation’s highest civilian honour.
“They have given Mother Teresa this award as she was a Christian, but they will not give to other seers as they are Hindus. It is a crime to be a Hindu in this nation?” Ramdev said while speaking to reporters at the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj on Sunday. Teresa was conferred the Bharat Ratna in 1980.
Former President Pranab Mukherjee, late singer Bhupen Hazarika and late social activist Nanaji Deshmukh were conferred the Bharat Ratna this year.
The yoga guru, however, said he was not in favour of discrimination on the basis of religion. “Is contribution of Maharshi Dayanand and Swami Vivekanand to India lesser than that of the actors and politicians? All these saints who have contributed so much must also be conferred with the Bharat Ratna,” he said.
Ramdev has become the latest to criticise the government over the award. Last week, senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge had slammed the Narendra Modi government for conferring the award to a ‘singer’ (Hazarika) instead of spiritual leader Shivakumara Swami.
The Assam Police have registered a case against \Kharge over the remark.
Meanwhile, Ramdev also echoed the views of Hindutva outfits like VHP on the construction of the Ram Temple, saying the possibility of a quick judgment by the Supreme Court was bleak and the Centre should take initiative.
“Either the Supreme Court or the government should do something for the construction (of Ram Temple). There aren’t many possibilities of a quick judgment by the court. So I think that the government should take an initiative.” he said.