Prophet row: Delhi VHP calls for Hanuman Chalisa mass recitation
The Vishva Hindu Parishad's (VHP) Delhi unit has called on people to gather in temples and participate in Hanuman Chalisa mass recitations on Tuesday (June 14) to protest the violence that erupted in several parts of India on Friday. The VHP claimed protests were held across India following the Friday prayers at mosques as part of a well-planned conspiracy to damage India's reputation globally.
- The BJP's now-suspended spokesperson Nupur Sharma had made controversial remarks about Prophet Muhammad and his wife during a TV debate on the Gyanvapi Mosque issue.
- Her remarks sparked uproar and elicited responses from religious organizations, political parties, and Gulf countries, prompting the BJP to suspend her.
- A series of hashtags began trending on social media and demands to boycott Indian goods also gained steam.
Commenting on the Friday protests against Sharma's remarks on the Prophet, Delhi VHP chief Kapil Khanna stated, "Illegal fatwas were issued for the killing of Nupur Sharma." "The Hindu society rejects and strongly condemns the pressure that was built on the Hindu society due to such illegal demonstrations," news agency PTI quoted Khanna as saying.
Khanna also urged temple managers and priests to notify devotees about the Hanuman Chalisa mass recitations. "It's absolutely necessary to showcase our strength in such a manner and constitutionally respond to the unethical pressure being built on the Hindu society," he stated. "To get rid of such kind of jihad, we must gather in our temples at least once a week," Khanna added.
"To protest against this (illegal demonstrations), I call upon the Hindu society of Delhi to assemble at small and big temples in the city and participate in the mass recitation of Hanuman Chalisa at 8:00 pm [on Tuesday, June 14]," Khanna stated.
On Friday, protests erupted across India—including outside Delhi's Jama Masjid—in response to Sharma and expelled BJP leader Naveen Jindal's remarks about Prophet Muhammad. Some police officers were injured in Jharkhand while attempting to control demonstrators, and officials in Jammu issued area-specific curfews. Protesters pelted police with stones in parts of Uttar Pradesh, prompting police to baton charge people and use tear gas shells.
During a recent debate on the Gyanvapi Mosque row on a TV channel, Sharma stated that because Muslims were insulting the Hindu faith by calling the unearthed Shivling, a fountain, certain aspects of their religious scriptures may be mocked as well. She then made a mention of Prophet Muhammad's marriage, too. Her remarks sparked uproar and elicited responses from religious organizations and political parties.
Iran's Foreign Ministry earlier summoned India's ambassador over an alleged "insult to the Prophet of Islam in an Indian TV show." Besides Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Kuwait also summoned India's ambassadors and handed over protest notes in response to the BJP leaders' contentious remarks against the Prophet. Facing criticism, the BJP suspended its spokesperson Sharma and expelled Jindal on June 5.