Maharashtra has been seeing heated politics around Hanuman Chalisa and Azaan for the past few months. Now, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and Minister of Water Resources Jayant Patil has used the Hanuman Chalisa issue to run away from his responsibility to serve the people of the state. He dodged a poor farmer’s complaint about monkey menace and used the reference to the recent controversy to avoid his responsibility.
Jayant Patil was interacting with the farmers residing in the areas under Gosikhurd National Irrigation Project in the Bhandara district of the state. While he was listening to various complaints, a villager told him about the problem of monkeys in his village and how they trouble the farmers. However, rather than assuring him some way out or some help through the local administration, minister Jayant Patil, in return, told the audience about his childhood memories of monkeys. Moreover, he went on to dodge the complaint and used the Hanuman Chalisa issue for the same.
The poor villager asked Jayant Patil, “There are very big trees here in this area. But we don’t see any monkeys here. In our village, there are fewer trees but the monkeys come and sit on the roofs of our houses. They not only damage our roofs but also cause a great loss to the crops.”
In response to this, Jayant Patil laughed and said, “I had been to a temple in Ramtek when I was a kid. A monkey had snatched away a banana from my hands. What you are saying is correct, and in the last 40-50 years, the number of monkeys must have increased a lot.”
Everyone accompanying the minister on the stage laughed at this. The farmer again urged what will he do if the house does not remain intact. Listening to this, Jayant Patil suggested to him something very unexpected. He said, “How much land do you have? Ok, five acres. So now, you leave that old earthen house and build a new cement-concrete house. So that the problem of monkeys damaging the roof will be arrested.” Jayant Patil did not say what the local administration or the forest department may jointly do on this issue. He did not say anything about what kind of instructions he may give to concerned officials.
Taking this opportunity to make a politically motivated remark, he further said, “The problem of monkeys damaging the roof will be arrested, but monkeys will be there for sure. We can’t do anything about it. Look, the monkey is an incarnation of Hanuman. And now we all chant Hanuman Chalisa. And now you are saying that the monkeys are troubling you.”
It is notable that Jayant Patil was present on the dais when NCP leader Amol Mitkari made fun of Hindu rituals while addressing a public meeting on 19th April 2022. Jayant Patil was seen laughing aloud on the stage as Mitkari ridiculed Hindu rituals of marriage. Now Jayant Patil himself has used the Hanuman Chalisa issue to dodge the complaint of a common citizen of the state and ran away from his responsibility to serve the people.