After External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said that the Bhagwad Gita can be declared as the national scripture, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee claimed that Constitution is the Holy Book in a democracy.
While addressing people on an event on Red Front grounds to mark the “5,151st anniversary” of the Gita, which was organised by RSS-affiliate Global Inspiration and Enlightenment Organization of Gita (GIEOGITA), Swaraj urged that Bhagwad Gita should be declared a ‘Rashtra Granth.’
She has also said, “The formal announcement for it hasn’t been made since the (NDA) government came to power. But I am happy to say that the Prime Minister has already given it the honour of a national ‘Rashtriya Granth’ when he handed over the ‘Shrimad Bhagwad Gita’ to America’s President Barack Obama. Only a formal announcement now remained.”
However, after Swaraj’s statement, Trinamool Congress leader Banerjee criticised her remarks, saying Constitution says India is a secular country and Constitution is the Holy Book in democracy. She said, “All holy books are our pride; the Quran, Puranas, Vedas, Vedanta, Bible, Tripitak, Zend-Avesta, Guru Granth Sahib, Gita, we respect all.”
Meanwhile, VHP President Ashok Singhal has said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should immediately declare the sacred text of Hindus as a national scripture. However, Congress said that the statement by the minister as “frivolous”. Congress leader Manish Tewari said that the essence of the Gita lies in its substance and not in its symbolism. He added, “So, if anybody has seriously read and internalised the teachings of the Gita they would not make such a frivolous statement.”
While speaking at the event, Swaraj has mentioned Gita as a remedy for depression. She reportedly said, “Depression is a rising problem. People believe eating chocolates and medicines will cure depression. My remedy is that if we read the Gita and live life as per it, we won’t be depressed. Our psychiatrists and counsellors should read the Gita and advise patients according to it. Every argument will end, every doubt will be removed.”
However, as per reports, Senior RSS leader Indresh Kumar said that while UN is declaring June 21 as Yoga Day, it should also declare Gita Divas.