Bharatiya Janata Party leader Kapil Mishra on Sunday held a demonstration in support of self-proclaimed godman Dhirendra Shastri, alleging that he was attacked during Christmas to prevent conversion. The BJP leader also appealed for a voice against religious conversions in the country and against “love jihad”, a term used by right-wing organizations for interfaith relationships between Muslim men and Hindu women.
Mishra told ANI, “I request other followers to come and speak on religious conversions and ‘love jihad’ like Bageshwarji, Dipankarji, Devkinandan Thakurji, and Swami Ramdevji are speaking. “
“The attacks on Shastriji started during Christmas when he helped people living in tribal areas to return to the religion they received at birth. They raised questions about ‘love jihad’. Earlier, there were no attacks. It is our duty to support Bageshwar Dham Maharajji.”
Shastri, a self-styled godman based in the Chhatarpur area of Bundelkhand in Madhya Pradesh, He made headlines after allegedly escaping Challenged by the Maharashtra-based Andha Shraddha Nirmulan Samiti. An organization dedicated to fighting superstition in India challenged him to demonstrate his miraculous powers at an event in Nagpur.
Responding to the challenge, Shastri told ANI in Raipur, “Such people will keep coming. We don’t have a closed room. They (those who have challenged him) should come and see for themselves. Anyone who says or does me. can challenge on camera. Lakhs of people come and sit in Bageshwar Balaji’s court. Whatever inspires me, I will write and whatever I write, will come true. I have faith in my God.”
On alleged religious conversions, Shastri said, “We are forcing Hindus to return to the religion they received at birth. Some people are creating trouble, to teach them a lesson. As long as I am alive. Yes, I will make all Sanatani Hindus. Return to your original faith.”