The controversy over some lines of Ramcharitmanas composed by Tulsidas took another turn when Samajwadi Party leader Swami Prasad Maurya demanded from the government that some lines be removed from this composition or Then this entire creation should be banned. This demand shows to what ridiculous situation any debate can reach if it is not bound by the thread of conscience. The controversy started with the statement of Bihar Education Minister and RJD leader Chandrashekhar that some couplets of Ramcharitmanas are against certain sections of the society. If seen, the debate on many couplets of Ramcharitmanas is going on since long. Some of them are called anti-Dalit and some are anti-women. Lengthy arguments have been given in its favor and opposition. Some people say that Ramcharitmanas is an epic. There are different characters in it. Each character has its own thinking, its own character, its own circumstances. The words spoken by these characters should not be taken as the words of the author.
On the other hand it is also said that any writer represents his time and society. Even if there are disagreements with the way Tulsidas has put his point, it should be kept in mind that those were the limitations of that period. Both these arguments are important and without keeping them in mind, not only Tulsi or Ramcharitmanas, literature of any era cannot be properly evaluated. And, anyway Ramcharitmanas is not just a literary work. The devotion and love with which crores of people of North India have been reciting it for the last nearly five hundred years, elevates its status.
Despite this, the question remains as to how we should see and accept what is said in it. Every forward and progressive society takes care of this. If the Indian society had not taken care of this, then the kind of change we are seeing in our living and thinking as compared to the lifestyle of the 16th century would not have been visible.
Keep in mind, Tulsidas himself also took care of this difference. Otherwise, he would not have decided to write Ramcharitmanas in Awadhi to take his adorable Lord Ram out of the few scholars of Sanskrit and reach the common man, taking him out of the realm of the priests and bringing him directly to the reach of the devotees. Reciting Ramcharitmanas, enjoying it, getting immersed in the devotion of Shri Ram does not mean that we do not recognize the limitations of the contemporary society.