Mumbai: Jitendra Awhad, the leader of Maharashtra’s ‘NCP’ (Sharad Power Group), has stirred controversy by asserting that Lord Ramachandra was a ‘non-vegetarian’ (amishasi). According to Awhad, it is implausible for someone to survive in the forest for fourteen years without consuming non-vegetarian food.
Awhad’s statement gains significance as the consecration day of the Ram temple in Ayodhya is scheduled for January 22. The Maharashtra unit of the ‘BJP’ has called for a ban on all non-vegetarian food in the state on that day, declaring it a vegetarian day.
Nationalist Congress Party MLA Awhad remarked, “Ram was a Bahujan (OBC), a glutton, and a hunter.” He emphasized the need to understand history and asserted that Ram belongs to the masses. Awhad defended his position by stating that Ram, being a Kshatriya, was not a vegetarian but a glutton who hunted for food during his fourteen years in the forest.
In response to Awhad’s comments, BJP MLA Ram Kadam criticized the indifference of the Shiv Sena’s ‘Samna’ newspaper, suggesting that it would have criticized the ‘Ram Amishashi’ remark if Balasaheb were alive. Kadam highlighted the inconsistency in their approach, accusing them of remaining indifferent to Hindu sentiments unless elections are imminent.
It is noteworthy that MLA Ram Kadam had previously written to Chief Minister Eknath Sinde, urging the declaration of January 22 as Niramish (Vegetarian) Day.
Awhad, addressing the controversy, questioned why there was a fuss about what Ram consumed, dismissing the issue as irrelevant. He maintained that Kshatriyas, like Lord Rama, were known for their indulgence in food, and he stood firm on his assertion. Awhad concluded by noting that 80% of India’s population is non-vegetarian and still are devoted followers of Lord Ram.