Earlier, BJP’s ally Janata Dal (United) had demanded that Sinha be stripped of his awards.
BJP’s state unit president and Lok Sabha MP Dr Sanjay Jaiswal, who lodged an FIR at Kotwali police station in Patna, said Sinha was not a member of his party.
In his book, Sinha, a retired bureaucrat, had compared Ashoka with Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, suggesting that both were “cruel” as rulers and had committed “sins”. He reiterated the point in some interviews later.
In his complaint, Jaiswal said Sinha has got himself described on Wikipedia page as currently serving as the national convener of the BJP cultural wing. “This fact is wholly incorrect. He is in no manner connected with the BJP,” Jaiswal said in his complaint.
He also accused Sinha of spreading hatred among different communities through his interviews.
Meanwhile, JD (U), which first raised the matter, on Thursday found support from former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, who said the ancient king was being denigrated because of the “backward” origin of the Maurya dynasty he belonged to.
“Asoka is being maligned because he belonged to a backward class. People with a feudal mindset cannot tolerate the rise to power of Dalits, tribals and OBCs,” Manjhi tweeted and urged President Ram Nath Kovind to “withdraw the Padma Shri” given Sinha.
Asoka was the grandson of Maurya dynasty founder Chandragupta Maurya, who was born in a family of shepherds and usurped power by overthrowing the discredited but powerful Nanda dynasty. The capital of Maurya dynasty was Patliputra, which is today’s Patna.
Sinha has been chosen for the Sahitya Akademi Award this year for a play based on the life of Ashoka, who is said to have shunned violence after a victorious battle against Kalinga which filled him with remorse for the large-scale bloodshed.