Snigdha Raju

At a speech at Nasik last night, former RSS member and head of Shri Shivpratishthan, Sambhaji Rao Bhide claimed that his mangoes give couples with no children with babies, and even baby boys if they wanted them. Out of the trees that he planted in his orchard, He claimed that out the 180 mangoes he gave out to couples, 150 of them have had babies.

"If a couple wants a male child they will have it after eating these mangoes. This mango is useful for those facing infertility," Bhide further claimed.

Bhide’s rally was a part of his movement to reinstate a “32 maund” (equivalent to 37.2kg) golden throne in Raigarh Fort; which was the former captail of Chhatrapati Shivaji’s kingdom.

Although Bhide has been a controversial Hindutva leader, who has been accused of instigating the Bhima-Koregaon caste riots, he enjoys considerable clout in regions of Maharashtra.

This 85-year old man who walks barefoot, has also served as a professor of Physics in the Fergusson College in Pune.

Some activists have slammed him saying he is creating superstitions.

The statement reflects his and the society’s patriarchal mentality by their agr-old preference for the male child. This is what leads to female infanticide, too, indirectly. Such statements should be made with caution when a public figure has the capability to influence their follower’s school of thought.