On February 5, 2023, speakers at two events held at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar openly called for the slaughter of Muslims and Christians. The first programme, the ‘Sanatan Dharma Sansad’, was organized in support of Dhirendra Shastri, a religious leader of Bageshwar Dham. The second was titled the ‘Hindu Aakrosh Demonstration’ and organized in support of Sudarshan News editor Suresh Chavhanke. Students from ‘gurukuls’ were also invited to bolster the turnout at both the programmes, and speakers went on a hate-speech spree in front of them. Abuses and calls to kill members of minority communities were made under the guise of a ‘Dharma Sansad’.
Jantar Mantar, the venue of the twin events, is situated on Parliament Street at the heart of the national capital and is a stone’s throw from the Supreme Court and the Central Secretariat.
Hate speech at ‘Sanatan Dharma Sansad’
According to reports, a large number of religious leaders, sadhus, and members of Hindutva organizations demanded Z+ security for Dhirendra Shastri. The also demanded that the Ramcharitmanas be declared the national book and the cow be declared the national animal of the ‘Hindu nation’, India. Mahamandaleshwar Hari Singh, who spoke in support of Dhirendra Shastri, boasted that at 83 years of age, he had already killed 80 people. He also said that he would die only after killing 100 people. Singh brazenly urged the crowd to kill Muslims and Christians and keep weapons in their homes.
“मैं 83 साल का हूं, 80 लोगों को मार चुका हूं। शतक करके मरूंगा।”
ईसाइयों को कब मारोगे,मुसलमानों को कब मारोगे पूछने के बाद इन ‘संत’ ने अपनी अचीवमेंट भी बताई।
धर्म संसद की आड़ में आपराधिक चरित्र वालों का नर्तन हुआ।
Report By – @neeraj_jhaa#HateSpeech (https://t.co/qL9GJjdfCe) pic.twitter.com/3IpOfieBJ5
— Molitics (@moliticsindia) February 6, 2023
“Christians said divide and rule, Muslims said slay and rule…When will you (Hindus) slay and kill? After all of you die? When will you kill them? When will you kill Muslims and Christians? What will you kill them with? Those small knives used to cut vegetables? They are no good. You must keep weapons!”
Replying to journalist Neeraj Jha in the same video, Singh states, “We speak of love. For us, the whole world is one.” Jha responds, “But you are talking about shooting?” Then, the ‘sage’ says, “Absolutely, they should be shot. Anyone who insults our religion, daughters-in-law, daughters, cow and scriptures, or destroys our temples must be killed. They should not be spared.”
In another clip, Singh says, “Any Hindu unwilling to protect our Hindu culture cannot be called a Hindu. Anyone who damages or harms our culture – including our temples, daughters-in-law, daughters, horses, saints, Vedas, scriptures, or Puranas – should be hanged. Hanging (through legal process) will take time, they should instead be hanged in public and shot at.” This comes as the crowd can be heard chanting ‘Jai Sri Ram’.
“Be it Swami Prasad Maurya, Bihar’s education minister, or Akhilesh, expel all these anti-nationals from the nation and shoot them at the border.”
He added, “Those who cut a cow and eat it will do the same to you. 36 crore gods reside in the cow and before sunrise 1.5 lakh cows are slaughtered by these unrighteous Christians and Muslims. They eat the cow, which we consider sacred, in which all our deities reside. It is the backbone of the economy.”
BJP Haryana’s chief media coordinator and Karni Sena president Surajpal Amu addressed the Dharma Sansad. He said, “India was, is and will remain a Hindu rashtra (nation). Those who do not believe so should go to Pakistan or Bangladesh.”
Responding to Amu’s claim that India always being a Hindu rashtra, journalist Neeraj Jha states that the constitution does not say India is a Hindu rashtra. He then remarks, “Understand what the constitution says. According to me it was a Hindu rashtra, and it is a Hindu nation. If the Mughals and British left, that makes this a Hindu nation only.”
Hate speech at the Hindu Aakrosh Rally
On February 5, Sudarshan News aired a two-hour broadcast covering the rally held in support of its editor-in-chief Suresh Chavhanke. During this, BJP leader Surajpal Amu asked the crowd, “If someone lays a hand on Suresh Chavhanke, will you spare them? If someone teases Suresh Chavhanke, will you spare them? If someone prevents us from creating a Hindu nation, will you let them? Will you support him or not? Suresh Chavhanke is not alone. 125 crore Hindus from all of India are standing with him. He is not a carrot or radish which can be easily uprooted and consumed. If someone tries to stop Suresh Chavhanke, we will continue to support him… I’m requesting you all. We are not asking for anything. We are simply demanding that the traitors who benefit from India yet sing praises of Pakistan be thrown out of the country.”
This portion of the speech can be heard from the 25-minute mark onward in the video below.
At the 40-minute mark, Karan Ji Maharaj can be heard saying to Gauraksh Beej, “We will rip out the hand of anyone who tries to lay a hand on Chavhanke ji. There is no need to be afraid of those who are Muslims. Let me tell you the meaning of ‘Musalman’, the one who will learn (man) only after being beaten by a flail (musal). A jihadi does ‘love jihad’ with our sister and daughter. And that society remains silent, saying that they sacrificed their daughter. What did you sacrifice? Just go to that Jihadi’s house and finish off his family. Others would think twice before doing this in the future. Let’s go to their house and show them the consequences for misleading a Hindu’s daughter in this way. We will have to decide what happens. Going to the courts will not yield anything. We need to come forward and decide the course of action.”
Devasena national president Brijbhushan Saini remarked, “The time has come to make India a Hindu nation again. In 1947, this country was partitioned on the basis of religion. The Muslims got Pakistan and Bangladesh, but the Hindus got a secular nation. The politicians of that time betrayed us, the Hindus. India should have been declared a Hindu nation at that time only, but this did not happen. Therefore, it is now our duty to work together and do our part to make India a Hindu nation.”
It is worth noting that a hate speech case against Suresh Chavhanke has been going on since 2021. This speech was delivered in a program organized by the Hindu Yuva Vahini under the leadership of Suresh Chavhanke in December 2021. Recently, a division bench of the Supreme Court consisting of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha asked the investigating officers to submit a progress report on the matter within two weeks. Following this, Chavhanke sought the support of members of Hindu outfits. On February 5, hate speech was once again rampant among the crowd gathered at Jantar Mantar.
How did crowds gather at Jantar Mantar?
On February 4, the Bageshwar Dham Twitter handle shared a poster which read, “Reach Jantar Mantar in support of Bageshwar Dham Maharaj.” This event was named the ‘Sanatan Dharma Sansad’. It was to be held on Sunday, February 5 at 10 AM.
सनातन के समर्थन में… pic.twitter.com/wZXHRttZsJ
— Bageshwar Dham Sarkar (Official) (@bageshwardham) February 4, 2023
The program was organized by Pradeep Khatkar from the Balaji Dham Shishya Mandal, Delhi. We tried to contact him on the number given on the poster, but did not receive any response.
Chavhanke also shared a poster on February 3, calling for his followers to gather in maximum numbers at Jantar Mantar on February 5 at 11 am.
In other words, the crowd present at the events were invited by Dhirendra Shastri and Suresh Chavhanke.
Ironically, Delhi Police did not take any action against those who delivered inflammatory speeches, but issued a notice to the channel ‘Molitics’ which reported on it.
Replying to a tweet by Molitics, the cops posted the image of the notice, which reads, “It has been observed that you are using social media to post objectionable, malicious and inflammatory posts. This notice has been issued by the Cyber Police Station, Delhi Police under Section 149 for posting offensive, malicious and promotional messages disturbing law and order. You are hereby directed to refrain from doing so, failing which you will be liable for strict penal action under the relevant provisions of law.”
— Molitics (@moliticsindia) February 5, 2023
Molitics also replied to the notice issued by Delhi Police. The outlet wrote, “It is good to know that Delhi Police is also against hate speech. But it is sad that instead of taking action against those delivering the hate speech, the Delhi Police is sending notices to our organization.”
— Molitics (@moliticsindia) February 6, 2023
We tried to reach out to the Delhi Police on this matter, but to no avail. However, inspector Vijay Pal Singh who issued the notice, told Newslaundry, “Yes, I issued the notice but I cannot reveal anything about it. I am not allowed to speak on this matter.”
This is not the first time dharm sansads have been used to promote violence against minorities. In 2021, at an event in Jantar Mantar organized by BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay, open calls were made for genocide against Muslims. In December 2021, in a ‘Dharma Sansad’ organized by Yeti Narasimhanand Saraswati in Uttarakhand contained discussions of killing Muslims. Recently, Alt News published a report covering how T Raja and other BJP leaders also called for violence against Muslims during a demonstration titled the ‘Hindu Jan Aakrosh Morcha’.
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