New Delhi: Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday slammed self-styled godman Dhirendra Shastri for his ‘Bihar will ignite the Hindu Rashtra fire’ remark and said that his statement has ‘no value’. Shastri, who is popularly known as ‘Baba Bageshwar’, on the first day of his spiritual discourse in Bihar, had advocated for India as a Hindu nation.
“In Bihar, we ensure that everyone gets their right to worship as the way they want, but no one should interfere in each other’s faith. If someone is saying something on their own, it has no value,” Nitish Kumar said.
RJD national president Lalu Prasad Yadav also said that self-styled godman Dhirendra Shastri is not a seer.
Asked about Shastri inviting his family for ‘Hanumant Katha’ in Naubatpur, the veteran leader said, “I refuse to accept that he is a Baba.”
Dhirendra Shastri reiterates making India Hindu nation claim
On Day 4 of his ‘Hanuman Katha’, Dhirendra Shastri on Tuesday reiterated his commitment to make India a Hindu nation. He also claimed that he has come to Bihar by risking his life to wake up the people of the state.
“The population of Bihar is around 13 crore and I want to tell you through this ‘Hanuman Katha’ that once you return to your respective homes, you should install religious flags of Lord Hanuman. If five crore people of Bihar do that and put ‘ tilak’ on their foreheads before stepping out of their homes, India will head towards becoming a Hindu nation,” Shastri, who is on a five-day visit to Bihar, said.
Barely in his 20s, Shastri heads the Bageshwar Dham pilgrimage site in Madhya Pradesh, dedicated to Lord Hanuman, and has acquired a huge fan following, largely on account of a proclaimed ability to read people’s minds.
Petition against Dhirendra Shastri for ‘hurting’ Hindu sentiments
Earlier this month, a petition accusing Dhirendra Shastri of hurting Hindu sentiments, by proclaiming himself to be an incarnation of Lord Hanuman, was filed before a court in Bihar. The petition was filed before the court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (West), Muzaffarpur, by a local advocate Suraj Kumar on May 1.
The petitioner claimed that the godman had, at a congregation in Rajasthan on April 24, claimed to be an ‘avatar’ of Lord Hanuman, which was an affront to religious beliefs of Hindus. The petitioner sought trial of Shastri under IPC Sections 295A, 298 and 505, all of which pertain to causing hurt to religious feelings.
A votary of making India a ‘Hindu Rashtra’, Shastri has been named in cases lodged at many places, for allegedly inciting communal passions and promoting superstitions.