Around 45 people of Indian descent gathered at a park in Windsor on Monday holding the Indian flag and chanting the Hanuman Chalisa to “show the government of Maharashtra” that there is freedom of speech in Britain even if there isn’t in India.
The ‘Sanatanis’, including representatives from Reach India (UK Chapter) and a number of other organisations in the United Kingdom, were present at the recital.
Abhi Yogi, who runs the YouTube channel ‘Simply Sanatan,’ led the recital. The chanting was supposed to be held at Windsor Castle, but the crowd had to move next to a statue of the Queen in a park owing to traffic.
The event passed off peacefully with no police officials present.
Several Muslims were seen having picnics celebrating Eid and offering namaz nearby.
“The purpose of this auspicious event is to send a clear message to the individuals, groups wishing to disrupt and prevent the recital of Hanuman Chalisa and Ramayan in various parts of India, that we, the followers of Sanatan Dharma, will not be prevented from our fundamental rights of practising our Dharma,” a letter issued by the London-based organisations read, according to IANS.
Support to the Ranas
The ‘Sanatanis’ extended support to Maharashtra MP Navneet Rana and her husband, MLA Ravi Rana, who were booked for sedition for chanting Hanuman Chalisa outside Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s residence ‘Matoshree’.
The Ranas were booked under Sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups) and 34 (criminal act done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.
A row had broken out earlier on 12 April when Raj Thackeray, the leader of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, gave the Maharashtra government an ‘ultimatum’ to remove loudspeakers from mosques by 3 May or that the MNS workers would play Hanuman Chalisa over loudspeakers.
This article first appeared on thequint.com