Cuttack: Parliamentarian from Cuttack in Odisha, Bhartruhari Mahtab, has sparked a row by saying Christ was not born on December 25.
Mahtab of Biju Janata Dal (BJD) made the comment at an event in Cuttack on Dec 3, in which he spoke at length on the Asian Parliamentary Assembly hosted by Istanbul in November.
While speaking on the Hagia Sophia he said, "Christians across the world celebrate December 25 as the birth anniversary of Christ but he was not born on that particular date. Whoever has read the Holy Bible knows the truth."
Mahtab further said several Christian sects in Kerala and other parts of the world did not celebrate December 25 as the birth anniversary of Christ.
The MP has drawn flak from various sections of society for his remarks, including from within his own party.
BJD MLA of the Cuttack-Barabati constituency, Debasish Samantray, said: World history is linked to this date and it is completely unfair to comment on this. We cannot rewrite history so we should refrain from making such remarks. "Whatever Mahtab has said is his personal opinion. The BJD has nothing to do with (what he said)," Samantray said.
Mahtab's comment has not gone down well with Christians either.
"For the last 2,000 years, we have been celebrating December 25 as the birth of Christ and will keep doing so. We don't want to get into a controversy about his birthday," Archbishop John Barwa of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar said.
Source: Times of India