AZAMGARH: Mahant Kanhaiya Prabhunand Giri, who is the first Dalit seer to be appointed Mahamandaleshwar of Juna Akhara in six centuries, is not happy after being ignored in the newly-formed trust for Ram Mandir in Ayodhya by the Central government.
The 32-year-old seer, who took a historic dip at Sangam during Kumbh last year to break the centuries-old caste taboo, said his high post now becomes a 'mere formality' because the government has conveniently ignored the fact that a Dalit member should also be included in the trust.
He said: "You put a Dalit on a high post, but do not repose faith in him or give him the responsibility when it is required.
"Ayodhya is in UP, Ram Mandir will be in UP and I am from Azamgarh in UP. I should have been consulted and made a part of the trust. Formality na kariye, vishwas jitiye (You need to win our trust rather than indulging in formality)," he said.
"Both PM Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah had visited Kumbh and performed rituals but neither of them met me or inquired about me even though I had made history by undertaking a 'shahi snan'," he added.
Giri said he stood by Ayodhya seers who are also upset over being ignored for the Ram Temple Trust despite their contribution to the Ram temple movement.
The Dalit Mahamandaleshwar had claimed during Kumbh that his mission was to ensure the return of SCs, STs and OBCs who had left the Hindu "Sanatan Dharm" following their exploitation in a dogmatic caste system.
The controversy over the formation of the temple trust is now taking on a casteist colour with former chief minister Kalyan Singh also seeking the inclusion of an OBC in the temple trust.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday, had announced the formation of a trust for the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya as mandated by the Supreme Court in its Ayodhya verdict.
Saints in Ayodhya, on Thursday, had voiced their resentment over the formation of the trust but were later pacified by Union Home Minister Amit Shah.