‘I don’t believe in Hindu Gods,’ IPS officer’s viral pledge lands him in trouble

Hyderabad: Senior IPS officer and secretary for Telangana Social Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society (TSWREIS) Dr RS Praveen Kumar on Monday landed in trouble after a video of him taking a pledge that he will not believe and pray to Hindu gods went viral.

The video, which drew the ire of both Telangana Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) units, was taken when the Additional DGP rank officer launched ‘Swaero Holy Month’ (March 15 to April 14) at the famous Buddhist shrine at Dhulikatta in Peddapalli district on Monday.

In the video Praveen Kumar, along with a group of people, can be seen taking the pledge: “I do not believe in Rama, I do not believe in Krishna. I do not worship them. I do not believe in Gauri, Ganapati, or any other Hindu deity. I do not worship them. I do not believe in the doctrines of the incarnations of God. I believe this is conspiratorial false propaganda..”

BJP state spokesperson A Rakesh Reddy said that the IPS officer insulted Hindu gods and goddesses and that he is “trying to sow seeds of discord and discontent among school children against the Hindu faith and its pantheon.”

Telangana VHP office bearer Ravinuthala Sashidhar demanded the filing of a case against Praveen Kumar for participating in the pledge and appealed to the state government to expel him from the post and take appropriate action against his “corrupt and bigot” attitude.

The IPS officer, however, disassociated himself and the Swaero (social welfare aeros or activists) from the pledge taken and said they had nothing to do with the oath.

“One local Buddhist family went on to the stage and recited Buddha Vandanam and they went on to recite the oath reportedly taken by Dr B.R. Ambedkar on the day of his conversion to Buddhism,” Praveen Kumar said in a statement. The pledge recited is a cue taken from the historic oath Ambedkar took on his conversion to Buddhism at Deeksha Bhoomi in Nagpur, Maharashtra in 1956.

Asserting that he does not subscribe to what has been said by the Buddhist family on stage, Praveen said that the social welfare network has people from all religious beliefs. “We take the best from all religions and we do not teach prejudice against any religion both in our homes and in our workplaces,” he said.

“We work for a just and equal society in the country through education, health awareness, scientific thinking and economic empowerment, not through hatred,” he added. 

The community of social welfare activists too condemned the attack on the secretary of TSWREIS, saying that the video was deliberately misrepresented to show him in the bad light. They said that fake videos on the said pledge are being widely shared and that they would soon approach the cybercrime police to complain of the same.