The “paath” will be organised at different places in his Greater Kailash Assembly constituency in South Delhi.
New Delhi: Senior Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Saurabh Bhardwaj has announced that he will organise a “paath” (recitation) of the “Sundar Kand,” the fifth book in the Ramayana, on the first Tuesday of every month. The “paath” will be organised at different places in his Greater Kailash Assembly constituency in South Delhi.
The AAP leader tweeted the invitation for the first such event scheduled to take place at an ancient Shiva temple in Chirag Dilli. Composed by Valmiki, “Sundar Kand” offers a detailed and vivid account of Lord Hanuman’s adventures in Lanka.
“Sundar” was the pet name fondly given to Hanuman by his mother Anjani. “Sundar Kand” is the fifth book of Ramayana, which recounts the tale of Lord Ram’s triumph over evil. It is distinct from the rest of the Ramayana as it is the only chapter dedicated to Hanuman, the valiant anthropomorphised monkey warrior and humble servant and devotee of Lord Ram. It is the only section of the epic that depicts Hanuman as the hero and not Lord Ram and recounts the adventures of the former instead.
Mr Bhardwaj (40) said that the initiative was meant to reclaim the toxic idea of “Hindutva” propagated by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and instead celebrate the warmth of Hinduism.
He said: “BJP thinks that only they have moral authority over Hinduism and that all other Hindus who believe in secularism are anti-national. We want to change this view of Hinduism in Delhi.”
The reading of the text will be carried out by Mr Bhardwaj himself. Since the announcement this morning, the MLA said that several individuals and RWA organisations have already contacted him to book “Sundar Kand” sessions for their own neighborhoods with the next two consecutive sessions scheduled to be held in GK-1 and GK-2 respectively.
Lord Hanuman had become a poll issue when Arvind Kejriwal had recited Hanuman Chalisa in the run-up to the recent Assembly elections. The AAP chief had said that he was a devout “Hanuman bhakt” and regularly visits temples. BJP had attacked the AAP leader for making a soft pitch for Hindu votes. Delhi BJP president and local MP Manoj Tiwari had even called Mr Kejriwal a “nakli bhakt.”
Soon after his historic victory, Mr Kejriwal visited the famous Hanuman temple near Connaught Place. He was accompanied by his family and deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia. He had even credited Lord Hanuman for his victory, which also happened on a Tuesday.