During a sermon in a village in Ahmednagar district earlier this month, Indurikar Maharaj had reportedly said that sexual relations between a couple on an even date would produce a male child, and on an odd date it would result in the birth of a girl. (File photo)
Activist Trupti Desai on Sunday said she has received a death threat from a supporter of Indurikar Maharaj, a Marathi kirtankar’ (preacher). Desai said she received the threat following her demand to arrest Indurikar Maharaj over a controversial remark made by him.
During a sermon in a village in Ahmednagar district earlier this month, Indurikar Maharaj had reportedly said that sexual relations between a couple on an even date would produce a male child, and on an odd date it would result in the birth of a girl.
“I have received the death threat through email from a supporter of Indurikar Maharaj,” Desai told The Indian Express. “The mail carries a threat that I will be cut into pieces... I have submitted a complaint to the Pune police”.
The Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti, the state’s prominent anti-superstition body, had also demanded filing of a police case against Indurikar Maharaj. The organisation said the preacher’s comments violated provisions of the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act.
After he drew flak over his remarks, Indurikar Maharaj had tendered an apology. “In the last 26 years of delivering kirtans, I had stressed on fighting superstition and other social ills... If my remarks hurt anyone’s sentiments, I apologise for it,” he had said.
On the controversy, state minister Bacchu Kadu said, “Indurikar Maharaj is working to enlighten people through his kirtan. If he goes wrong, the law will take its own course, but that doesn’t mean a criminal case will be registered against him. We need to check his intention while making those remarks”.
Meanwhile, Desai said, “Though I received a death threat, it will not deter me from filing the case and seeking the arrest of Indurikar Maharaj. If the government does not arrest him, I will myself go to Akole and file the complaint”.
Desai said if her comments have hurt the religious sentiments of any community, then she will tender an unconditional apology. “My agitations are not against any community... they are primarily against the humiliation of women. I am fighting for women’s rights and dignity,” she said.