Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, the BJP’s Babul Supriyo on Thursday credited the Bengali social reformer and champion of education, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, with having helped abolish the practice of Sati – where women burnt themselves to death on the funeral pyre when their husbands died – and encouraging widow remarriage.
Sati, however, was abolished by the efforts of another social reformer, Raja Ram Mohan Roy.
Supriyo made the comment at the launch of an organisation in Kolkata, Sangbad Pratidin reported, on September 26, Vidyasagar’s birth anniversary.
This was not an isolated incident of a gaffe by a BJP leader. Earlier in the year, the party’s West Bengal president Dilip Ghosh had said that Vidyasagar had written the famous Bengali primer Sahaj Path, which was actually written by Rabindranath Tagore, Millenium Post reported. Recently, another BJP leader, Piyush Goyal, credited Albert Einstein with the discovery of gravity instead of Isaac Newton.