New Delhi: External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, who described herself as a “Krishna upasika” at Sunday’s “Gita Prerna Mahotsav” here, was seen supporting the demand by some saints to declare the Bhagwad Gita as a “Rashtriya Granth” (national book).
Ms Swaraj, who made a similar demand in 2011, when the BJP was in Opposition, said only a formality remained in this regard, triggering a row with Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool , which said that the Constitution was the only “holy book” in a democracy.
Ms Swaraj also said at the gathering at Red Fort that the United Nations will soon declare June 21 as World Yoga Day following a proposal by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Ms Swaraj went on to suggest that “psychiatrists aur manovigyan ke doctors” should read the Gita and do counselling on the basis of the Gita’s teachings to those suffering from depression.
Ms Swaraj was speaking at the event held “to celebrate 5,151 years of the Gita”, where VHP president Ashok Singhal also said Mr Modi should immediately declare the sacred text of Hindus as the “national scripture.”
“…the formal announcement for it has not been made since the government came in power, but I am happy to say that the Prime Minister has already given it the honour of a ‘Rashtriya Grant’ when he handed over the ‘Shrimad Bhagwad Gita’ to America’s President Barack Obama,” said Ms Swaraj. She also said that “Bhagwad Gita has answers to everybody’s problems and that’s why I said that it should be declared the national holy book.”