Ayodhya: Spiritual veteran exponent of Ram Katha, Morari Bapu sparked controversy when over 200 sex workers from Mumbai’s Kamathipura attended his event in Ayodhya on Saturday. Bapu had invited them for his event where he recited Tulsidas’s Manas Ganika. Enraged by the visitors who were sex workers, a mahant of the Dandiya temple named Bharat Vyas reportedly stated that such a gathering, especially in the birthplace of Lord Ram, would convey a wrong message. Vyas opposed Morari Bapu‘s move and substantiated by saying that Ayodhya is a holy town where pilgrims come to wash their sins.

One of the women who attended the event said that she felt honoured to take part in such a religious gathering for the first time. The spiritual guru Morari Bapu supported the sex workers. A report by Times of India quoted Bapu as saying, “Tulsidas, referred to ‘ganikas’ (sex-workers) in Ramayana and spoke about reforming the lives of sex workers.” He added, “I’ll continue to take up the cause of the underprivileged as Lord Ram’s life was based on acceptance and reforms.”

Dharam Sena chief Santosh Dubey, who is an accused in the Babri demolition case alleged that Morari Bapu’s intention was to corrupt the town’s holiness. He suggested that Bapu better organise Ram Kathas in Maoist-hit zones or red-light areas. Ayodhya-based preacher Mahant Pawan Das Shastri also found the presence of sex workers in Ayodhya unacceptable.

Earlier in the month, Morari Bapu invited the sex workers to visit Mumbai’s Kamathipura. Pravin Sharma, head of the right-wing outfit Jyotish Shodh Sansthan, filed a complaint with UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath in this regard and reportedly suggested that Bapu should distribute money to reform and rehabilitate sex workers rather than spending on Ram Katha.

The Gujarat-based spiritual preacher has a unique way for curbing rapes and crimes against women. Morari Bapu had earlier claimed that by attending his spiritual discourses, the number of rape crimes and other cases against women can be brought down as such gatherings could help one attain wisdom.