It started off as a cakewalk for saffron sanyasin Uma Bharati but her current campaign in Madhya Pradesh has cooked up a storm with allegations that she participated in an offering of a cake to Lord Hanuman in the Jam Sanwli temple in Bhopal on Hanuman Jayanti. Though she later claimed it was actually kalakand (milk cake) and, therefore, had no egg content, the fact that a sanyasin was making an offering of that nature was enough to take the cake and, in the bargain, invite the CBI to launch an investigation into the controversial affair.
Whatever it was, she did light candles on the disputed offering. Bhopal Mayor Vibha Patel alleged that the cake was made with eggs and, therefore, a religious affront. Bharati retorted with, "It was perfectly vegetarian and who are you to question me?" In jumped Chief Minister Digvijay Singh with the information that God had punished Bharati for offering an egg cake-apparently he believes that her public meetings since then have failed. Bharati then wrote to Digvijay demanding a CBI inquiry. While she bids to become the first Hanuman disciple to offer kalakand topped with candles, Digvijay plays Socrates, reading divine punishments. The electorate, meanwhile, is more worried about its daily bread, but the leaders, in true revolutionary style, are giving them cake.
A Birthday Cake for Hanuman
India Today magazine has given its Golden Pumpkin award to fundamentalist Hindu politician Uma Bharati, who allegedly offered a birthday cake containing eggs to the god Hanuman on his birthday (April 16):