Last Updated: May 16, 2023, 21:52 IST
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday slammed self-styled godman Dhirendra Shastri for reiterating his commitment to making India a “Hindu Rashtra” and said those who make such remarks were not even born during the freedom struggle. The JD(U) leader asserted that people are allowed to follow their religion but no religion-based remarks should be made.
Bageshwar Dham chief Shastri, popularly known as Bageshwar Baba, held a five-day congregation in Bihar where he claimed that one day people living in India will have to chant ‘Sita Ram’ slogans.
When asked by the media in Patna about Shastri’s remarks, Nitish was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times“…Were all those who are 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?”
Echoing similar sentiments, RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav took a potshot at Shastri’s popularity and asked, “Who is Baba Bageshwar? Is he even a Baba?” He responded when media asked him why the Bihar government did not stop him from holding an event in Patna.
#WATCH | “Who is Baba Bageshwar? Is he a Baba?,” says former Bihar CM and RJD national president Lalu Prasad Yadav when asked why was Bageshwar Dham’s Dhirendra Shastri not stopped from holding an event in Patna. pic.twitter.com/7dTnSMtSQo— ANI (@ANI) May 16, 2023
Shastri, who arrived in Patna on May 13 for holding the event at the Taret Pali Math in Naubatpur, 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. I want to appeal to all the people to save and preserve their culture and Sanatan Dharma. I came to Bihar by risking my life to wake up the people of Bihar. And I will continue to do so,” Shastri said.
As per media reports, over three lakh people attended the event on Sunday, of which, many fell sick due to scorching heat in Patna with temperature over 40 degrees.
Seeing the heatwave-like situation, Shastri requested people to avoid coming in large numbers.
The self-styled godman also landed into trouble during his ‘Divya Darbar’ session where he called his followers ‘pagal’. This remark came after he had to cancel aarti due to the overcrowding at the venue.
“Bahot jyada bheed ho gayi hai, apaar bheed ho gayi…pagal hi pagal aa gaye hain (There is too much crowd, the crowd has become huge, the madmen have come),” he was quoted as saying.
Reacting to this, Bihar Minister Tej Pratap Yadav told reporters in Patna, “This Baba is abusing Biharis and calling them ‘pagal’. There is ‘Krishna Raj’ and ‘Mahagathbandhan Raj’ in Bihar. This politics is being done to divide the country.”