A BJP MLA from Rajasthan has said that the Hindu god Hanuman was the world’s first tribal leader.
“World’s first tribal leader was Hanuman ji. First saint among the adivasis was Hanuman ji. When Lord Ram was on his way from Chitrakoot to the southern part of the country for the exile, Hanuman made his army of tribals and got training from Lord Ram,” Gyan Dev Ahuja, MLA of Ramgarh, said at the party office on Friday.
He also said that on seeing a picture of Hanuman placed under Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar’s idol, that he said disrespected the God, in a video of the April 2 Bharat Bandh protests, he called up BJP MP from Rajasthan, Kirodi Lal Meena and told him, “You all should be ashamed. You call yourself tribals and then disrespect him.”
Ahuja reiterated his remarks to HT. “These SC/ST people call themselves tribals. Even if they call Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar as their god, the first true tribal leader in the world was Hanuman ji. He is their first god. He trained the Dalits,” he said.
He also claimed that Hanuman has 40 lakh temples all over the world, which is the highest number of temples for any god.
Reacting to Ahuja’s remarks, Meena sought to steer clear of any controversy, saying, “During Hanuman ji’s era, there was no politics. Ahuja would be better aware as to why he has called Hanuman a tribal.”
“I had also heard that Lord Hanuman had been disrespected. That was wrong and unfortunate. What does this have to do with Adivasis? He is a religious figure and such an incident hurts the sentiments of many devotees,” Meena said.