Skip to main content
xYOU DESERVE INDEPENDENT, CRITICAL MEDIA. We want readers like you. Support independent critical media.

JD(U), RJD Slam Baba Bageshwar for Hindu Rashtra Remark in Bihar

Nitish Kumar, Tejashwi Yadav, Lalu Prasad Yadav and Rabri Devi refused to attend the self-styled godman’s 5-day preaching session.
JD(U), RJD Slam Baba Bageshwar for Hindu Rashtra Remark in Bihar

Image Courtesy: PTI

Patna: The ruling JD(U)-RJD combine has severely criticised self-styled godman Dhirendra Krishna Shastri, aka Bageshwar Dham, for saying that the “fire of Hindu Rashtra will be ignited from Bihar”.

During the five-day-long preaching session in Naubatpur, near Patna, Shastri repeatedly claimed that “India is on the way to becoming a Hindu Rashtra” and urged thousands of attendees to support his call for a Hindu Rashtra.

On the fourth day, Shastri said, “The population of Bihar is 13 crore. Hindu Rashtra will start from Bihar only. Even if only five crore people hang the flag of their religion at their homes and start applying tilak on their foreheads, India will move towards becoming a Hindu nation,”

Chief minister (CM) Nitish Kumar questioned Shastri’s remark. “Were all those saying this born during the freedom struggle? ... What is the need of saying this? Follow any religion you want. But proposals for renaming are surprising. Is that even possible?” he told the media on Tuesday.

RJD president and former CM Lalu Prasad, on his way to Delhi, when asked why Shastri wasn’t stopped from holding the discourse, asked, “Who is he? Is he really a baba?

Kumar, his deputy Tejashwi Yadav and Lalu and his wife and former CM Rabri Devi refused to attend the discourse despite an invitation and Shastri’s eagerness to meet them, according to local Hindi dailies.

Lalu’s elder son and minister Tej Pratap Yadav said that Shastri “abused” Biharis and called them “mad”. Shastri had triggered a controversy when he equated the massive number of attendees to “madmen”.

There’s Krishna Raj and Mahagathbandhan Raj in Bihar ...Politics is being done to divide the country,” Tej Pratap told reporters on Tuesday.

In fact, senior RJD leaders and ministers, including Tej Pratap and education minister Chandra Shekhar, had targeted Shastri before he landed in Patna and recalled that BJP leader LK Advani was arrested in Bihar in the early 90s to maintain communal harmony.

Bageshwar Baba is sending his men daily to apologise. He is a coward and traitor; he is making Hindus and Muslims fight,” Tej Pratap told the media on May 9.

On May 3, Chandra Shekhar had said that Shastri would be arrested like Advani if he caused communal tension.

RJD state president Jagdanand Singh had said that “such godmen should be in jail. “It is unfortunate that Bageshwar Dham is outside of jail.”

Senior RJD leaders and Bihar ministers Surendra Prasad Yadav and Surendar Ram said that Shastri “only exploits people, particularly women, in the name of ghosts and superstitions”. Senior JD(U) leader and Bihar minister Ashok Choudhary likened Shastri to the jailed Asharam Bapu.

On the other hand, the opposition BJP supported Shastri. Union ministers Giriraj Singh and Ashwini Kumar Choubey, championing a Hindu Rashtra for years, attacked the ruling coalition for not attending the event.

Both Singh and Choubey, along with former Union ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad, Ram Kirpal Yadav, Bhojouri actor-turned-BJP MP Manoj Tiwari, Assembly Opposition leader Vijay Sinha, Bihar BJP president Samrat Chaudhary and dozens of party MPs and MLAs welcomed Shastri and attended his event.

Get the latest reports & analysis with people's perspective on Protests, movements & deep analytical videos, discussions of the current affairs in your Telegram app. Subscribe to NewsClick's Telegram channel & get Real-Time updates on stories, as they get published on our website.

Subscribe Newsclick On Telegram