Row over request for Hindu deities on Indian currency
The chief minister of Delhi sparked a debate when he requested that Hindu deities be printed on new banknotes.
Arvind Kejriwal pleaded with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to include images of Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi on rupee bills.
He said that it would result in “economic prosperity” for the nation.
His remarks have received harsh condemnation, and he has been charged with pandering to Hindu voters before important state elections.
Elections in Gujarat, a stronghold of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and Himachal Pradesh are coming up, and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), led by Mr. Kejriwal, has been actively campaigning in both states.
Following a resounding victory in Punjab State earlier this year, the AAP is now targeting victories in the two states as well as in Delhi’s municipal elections, where it hopes to defeat the BJP and establish itself as a viable alternative to the Congress, India’s main opposition party.
The AAP leader revealed this insight during a press conference on Wednesday. He said it came to him as he worshipped the two gods on Monday during the Diwali festival.
He explained that he was not calling for all current notes to be changed, simply for new ones to be created in the future to bear the images of the deities, adding that Goddess Lakshmi brings prosperity and Lord Ganesha removes obstacles.
“Indonesia, a country with a majority of Muslims, produces currency notes with the picture of Lord Ganesha,” claimed the chief minister of Delhi.
His comments garnered derision from all political parties. The AAP was attempting to cover up its “ugly anti-Hindu face,” according to the Hindu nationalist BJP.
The statement by Mr. Kejriwal, according to the Congress, was related to “vote politics.”
Mr. Kejriwal has frequently stated that his party supports justice for all people and the equality of all religions. Many people see the AAP as a breath of fresh air in a nation where politics is predominately based on caste and religious differences. However, many claim that the party is not delivering on its promises.