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Aniruddhacharya Maharaj

Aniruddhacharya Maharaj

Affiliation: Shri Dham Vrindavan
Vocation/ Title: Monk
Location: Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh

Aniruddhacharya Maharaj hails from Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh. He is a popular Kathawachak (storyteller) whose programs are attended by thousands of devotees from across India. Maharaj tells stories from Hindu mythology and provides spiritual ecstasy to his devotees, but there is also a flip side to his spiritual avatar.

He is a Hindu Rashtra (nation) enthusiast and a peddler of anti-Muslim conspiracy theories. He uses his massive following to popularise Hindu nationalist propaganda.

He enjoys firm political backing from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which also rules his home state. Narottam Mishra, Home Minister of the state, often visits him to get his blessings, and so do other top Hindu nationalist leaders.

Amid his narrations, he uses anti-Muslim propaganda to brainwash his devotees who revere him and follow his words.

Peddling the hoax of ‘love jihad’ at one such event, he said that Hindu daughters leave the house talking about reading and writing and go to watch movies and eat popcorn. He said that one day the girl leaves the house without informing anybody for the sake of love. After that, in the name of that love, that girl is cut into 35 pieces (referring to the murder of Shraddha Walker). This is the result of your love. He was speaking at the ‘Bhagvat Katha’ event in Jaipur, Rajasthan.

Similarly, at another event, he invoked the exclusionary idea of Hindu Rashtra by asking his followers to embrace their Hindu cultural identity by wearing traditional dhoti-kurta and sporting tilak (sacred mark) on their foreheads. He said, “Hindu Rashtra (nation) can only be realized when we Hindus will change ourselves.”

Maharaj encourages cow vigilantism and declares it mandatory for every Hindu. Needless to mention that such invocations by religious figures embolden criminals who commit mob lynching of Muslims on the pretext of protecting cows.