Ahmedabad: Tension continues between the Swaminarayan sect and Sanatana Dharma groups in Gujarat.
The Swaminarayan Vadtal sect, a prominent Hindu outfit in Gujarat became the crux of controversy as one of its prominent members took a dig at Sanatana Dharma by saying there is the “need for a new dharma”.
“We need to remove the idols of gods and goddesses from temples. We need to create a new dharma,” said Acharya Dinesh Prasad Swami, a saint of the Swaminarayan Vadtal sect. His remark on August 28 has been protested by several Hindu outfits in Gujarat.
In another incident, Bramhaswaroopdas, another saint of the Swaminarayan sect made derogatory remarks against the ‘Kuldevi’ of the Leva Patel community, a sub-caste of the Patidars in Gujarat. “Maharaj sprinkled the water from his wet clothes on Kuldevi Khodiyar Mataji. That is how your Kuldevi became Satsangi,” the saint allegedly said.
Demanding an apology, devotees and saints in Gujarat’s Morbi submitted a memorandum to the District Collector on Tuesday.
Recently murals depicting Lord Hanuman kneeling with folded hands in front of Sahajanand Swami, a 19th century seer who established the Swaminarayan sect was removed following protests by Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha of Gujarat.
Interestingly the BJP is silent regarding the whole matter while it continues to condemn Udhayanidhi Stalin’s remarks on ‘Sanatana Dharma’.
To pacify the tension between the Swaminarayan sect and Sanatana Dharma groups, Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel had to hold a meeting with the leaders of the Swaminarayan Vadtal sect and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leaders last week.