Aurangabad Marathi 'kirtankar' (preacher) Nivrutti Maharaj Indurikar on Tuesday tendered an apology over his remarks on the timing of intercourse and gender of child, seeking to end a controversy on the issue.
His apology came after state minister Bachchu Kadu said Maharashtra government will not file a case against him over the remarks.
During his kirtan (sermon) at a hamlet in Ahmednagar district recently, the preacher reportedly said intercourse by a couple on an even date would beget a male child, while on an odd date would result in the birth of a girl.
The Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti, a voluntary organisation working to eradicate superstitious beliefs, had sought a police case against Indurikar Maharaj,
alleging that his comments violated provisions of the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act.
In a statement, Indurikar Maharaj said he was tendering an apology if anyone's sentiments were hurt by his remarks. "In the last 26 years of my delivering kirtans, I had stressed on fighting superstition and other social ills... If my remarks hurt anyone's sentiments, I apologise for it," he said.
Earlier, the minister had said the state government will not file a case against the preacher. "Indurikar Maharaj is working to enlighten people through his kirtan. If he goes wrong, law will take its own course, but that doesn't mean a crime will be registered against him. We need to check his intention while making those remarks," Kadu told reporters in Osmanabad on Monday.
If a notice is served, it does not mean he will be booked, the minister of state for water resources said. "Law is same for everyone. If anyone commits a mistake, he or she will be punished. But if a word uttered by mistake is played up, then it's not right. If the same thing happens with me, then media shows it as breaking news which is not correct," he said.
Indurikar Maharaj on Monday said some people unhappy with his work for society and the Warkari community were trying to create trouble for him by demanding filing of cases over his remark.