NEW DELHI -- Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma came under opposition fire in the Rajya Sabha for saying that the birthplace of Sita was "a matter of faith" and that there is no historical or archeological evidence proving that she was born in Bihar's Sitamarhi.
Sharma said this is reply to a question from BJP MP Prabhat Jha whether the central government has any historical proof regarding the birthplace of Sita at Sitamarhi which has been included as a part of the Ramayana Circuit project planned by the government.
Sharma who replied that it was "a matter of faith and not based on any evidence" was instantly criticized by the opposition who claimed that if Sharma'a logic was to be followed through, then even Ram, Sita's husband, is a matter of faith.
Congress leader Digvijay Singh demanded an apology from Sharma for his remarks and said that a party which came to power on the back of the Ram movement is now saying that Sita is just a matter of faith.
BJP has been at the helm of the movement to build a Ram Temple in Ayodhya which they believe to be the birthplace of Lord Ram. The Babri masjid which they claimed stood in the exact spot of the birth was pulled down 6 December, 1992 by right-wing Hindus and the building of a Ram Temple still remains an essential part of BJP's agenda in Uttar Pradesh.
Sharma, however, stuck to his position and said there was no dispute over Sita's birthplace because it is mentioned in the Valmiki Ramayana but the Archaeological Survey of India has not carried out any excavations to prove it.
JD(U) leader Anil Kumar Sahani too claimed that Mahesh Sharma's comments put a question mark on Lord Ram. He also slammed the ASI for "slighting Goddess Sita because she is a woman".
Also on HuffPost