Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has said that people, who suffered from life-threatening diseases such as cancer, ‘faced divine’ justice because of sins committed in the past.
Speaking at a function organised for distribution of appointment letters to teachers in Guwahati on Tuesday, the BJP minister said, “God makes us suffer when we sin. Sometimes we come across young men getting inflicted with cancer or young men meeting with accidents. If you observe the background you will come to know that it’s divine justice. Nothing else. We have to suffer that divine justice.”
He added, “In this lifetime or in our previous life, or perhaps my father or mother… perhaps that young man did not do but his father has done something wrong. It is mentioned even in Gita, Bible about the outcome of one’s actions. No point in being sad… all will get the outcome of this life’s actions in this life only. That divine justice always will be there. Nobody can escape the divine justice that will happen.”
The comments sparked sharp reactions in the political circles and among cancer patients. Congress leader P Chidambaram denounced Sarma’s comments and said “that is what
switching parties does to a person”.
Chidambaram tweeted, “Cancer is divine justice for sins’ says Assam Minister Sharma. That is what switching parties does to a person.”
Incidentally, Sarma’s own father had suffered from cancer seven years ago.
Faced with public ridicule on social media for his outrageously unscientific justification of a disease as serious as cancer, Sarma took to Twitter to say that he was merely explaining the Hindu philosophy.
He said, “I simply reiterate Hindu philosophy of karmic law. I can not force it on anyone. It’s individual choice. By the way my dad also died in cancer.”