Maharashtra Congress leader Sachin Sawant has lashed out at the BJP for demanding the arrest of journalist Dilip Mandal for allegedly insulting Hindu Goddess Saraswati. This was after BJP supporters trended hashtag #ArrestDilipMandal, demanding the journalist’s arrest for his decision to share excerpts from a book on the 19th-century social reformer Mahatma Jyotiba Phule.
Sawant took to Twitter to write, “If Sanghis are demanding #ArrestDilipMandal just because he tweeted content of books of #MahatmaJyotibaPhule ji, then it is an insult to Mahatma Phule ji. Even bjp spokespersons are tweeting. BJP must apologise for this trend. Strongly condemn this ridiculous act of BJP/ Sanghis.”
If Sanghis are demanding #ArrestDilipMandal just because he tweeted content of books of #MahatmaJyotibaPhule ji, then it is an insult to Mahatma Phule ji. Even bjp spokespersons are tweeting. BJP must apologise for this trend. Strongly condemn this ridiculous act of BJP/ Sanghis
— Sachin Sawant सचिन सावंत (@sachin_inc) February 16, 2021
Journalist Dilip Mandal, who’s waged a war of sorts against the malaise of castism in the Hindu society, had shared excerpts from a book published by the Maharashtra government on Twitter. The excerpts from the book Slavery. He had tweeted in Hindi, “I don’t accept Saraswati as the Goddes of education. Neither has she opened any schools not she wrote any books. Both these works were carried out by mother Savitribai Phule. Yet, I am with Saraswati. Her sexual harassment by Brahma was horrible. Courtesy: Phule J. , Slavery(1991), Govt of Maharashtra Publication.”
सरस्वती को मैं शिक्षा की देवी नहीं मानता। उन्होंने न कोई स्कूल खोला, न कोई किताब लिखी। ये दोनों काम माता सावित्रीबाई फुले ने किए। फिर भी मैं सरस्वती के साथ हूँ। ब्रह्मा ने उनका जो यौन उत्पीड़न किया, वह जघन्य है। – संदर्भ Phule J. , Slavery(1991), Govt of Maharashtra Publication pic.twitter.com/r0iTXfi02a
— Dilip Mandal (@Profdilipmandal) February 16, 2021
This evoked angry reactions from BJP supporters, who demanded Mandal’s arrest as they trended hashtag #ArrestDilipMandal on Twitter even though the journalist had merely quoted excerpts from a book approved by the Maharashtra government.
Responding to one BJP supporter, Mandal wrote, “You ignorant fool. Do you know that quoting Mahatma Phule involves no criminality. His statue is there in the Parliament House. Unveiled by Vajpayee in 2013. @narendramodi calls him greatest social reformer. To hurt your fragile sentiments, I am again sharing his quote.”
Mandal was referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tweets in 2015 and 2016 where he spoke about following the teachings of Mahatma Phule.