Yoga guru Ramdev on Sunday wondered why no Hindu saint had yet been awarded the Bharat Ratna, the nation’s highest civilian honour, NDTV reported. “They have given Mother Teresa this award as she was a Christian, but they will not give to other seers as they are Hindus,” the yoga guru claimed while speaking to reporters at the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. “It is a crime to be a Hindu in this nation?” Teresa was conferred the Bharat Ratna in 1980.
However, he said he was not in favour of discrimination on the basis of religion. “All these saints who have contributed so much, must also be conferred with the Bharat Ratna,” Ramdev told reporters. Former President Pranab Mukherjee, late singer Bhupen Hazarika and late social activist Nanaji Deshmukh were conferred the Bharat Ratna this year.
Ramdev also said that the government should act on the Ram temple matter, as the Supreme Court is unlikely to pass a quick verdict in the case. On Sunday, the top court postponed a hearing into the Ayodhya case which was scheduled to be held on January 29, as one of the judges, SA Bobde, is unavailable on that date.
“Either the Supreme Court or the government should do something for the construction [of the Ram temple],” Ramdev said. “There aren’t many possibilities of a quick judgement by the court, so I think that the government should take an initiative.”
Hindutva groups as well as political parties like the Shiv Sena have demanded an ordinance be passed to build the Ram temple. However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in an interview earlier this month that the Centre will wait for the top court’s verdict in the matter before introducing any bill in Parliament.