"Purifying" Politics: Jain Monk Addresses Haryana Assembly

Jain monk and religious leader Tarun Sagar gave a 40-minute speech in the nude to the Haryana state assembly on Friday afternoon.

Jain monk and religious leader Tarun Sagar gave a 40-minute speech in the Haryana state assembly on Friday afternoon, invited to speak by education minister Ram Bilas Sharma.

Delivering his “kadve vachan” in the nude, the monk addressed a range of topics. This was the first event of its kind in the Vidhan Sabha and marked the opening of the monsoon session, Indian Express reported. He was seated on a dais, above the seats of the governor, chief minister and MLAs.

According to the monk, inviting him to speak did not indicate a saffronisation of politics. “Don’t term it as saffronisation but as purification of politics. When religion enters politics, it brings purity. While it becomes a disaster when politics enters religion,” Times of India quoted him as saying.

Everybody in the assembly, including the opposition, seemed pleased with the monk’s presence, according to the Times of India report. The opposition Congress legislature party leader Kiran Choudhry and Indian National Lok Dal MLA Zakir Hussain were among those who greeted the monk on behalf of their MLAs. Chaudhary recited the opening lines of a bhajan – ‘Guruji ko kariye vandana’ – for him.

Politics must always follow dharma, the monk said, using the metaphor of a wife’s “duties” and “subservience” to her husband. “Rajniti par dharam ka ankush zaroori hai. Dharam pati hai, rajneeti patni. Har pati ki yeh duty hoti hai apni patni ko samrakshan de. Har patni ka dharam hota hai ki woh pati ke anushasan ko sweekar kare. Agar rajneeti par dharam ka ankush na ho toh woh magan-mast haathi ki tarah… ho jaati hai (The control of dharma over politics is essential. Dharma is the husband, politics is the wife. It is the duty of every husband to protect his wife. It is the duty of every wife to accept the discipline of her husband. If there is no control of dharma over politics, it will be like an elephant out of control),” Indian Express quoted him as saying.

Praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ campaign, he added that he had come up with a solution to female foeticide that would tackle the “big problem” at the social, political and religious levels. “At the political level, the government should decide that those who do not have daughters should not have the right to contest Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections. At the level of society, people should not marry their daughters into families that do not have daughters. At the religious level, saints should decide that they will not accept alms from houses where there are no daughters. The result will exceed expectations if this formula is followed. We are living in the 21st century. Even today, when boys and girls are differentiated, I feel we are living in the 14th century,” he said, according to the Indian Express.

The monk also raised the issue of terrorism, saying no religion promotes terror. His brought up Pakistan at this point, saying, “Humara padosi desh, sab ko maloom hai, atankvaad ko aasan de raha hai….Bhasmasur paida kar raha hai… Bharat ko pareshan karne ke liye. Mujhe lagta hai aaj nahi toh kal Bhasmasur tayyar kar raha hai apne liye. Ek baar galti kare woh agyan hai, do baar galti kare woh nadaan hai, teen baar galti kare woh shaitan hai aur jo baar baar galti kare woh Pakistan hai. Jo har baar shama kar de, woh Hindustan hai (Everyone knows that the neighbouring country is harbouring terrorism… creating Bhasmasurs to trouble India. If someone makes a mistake once he is ignorant, if someone makes a mistake twice he is innocent, if someone makes a mistake thrice he is the devil, and if someone makes a mistake repeatedly, that is Pakistan. And the one who forgives repeatedly is India),” Indian Express quoted him as saying.