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Jagatguru Yogeshwar Acharya Maharaj is a Hindu monk and spiritual teacher (Acharya) who is associated with Atulesheshwar Dham, New Delhi. Atulesheshwar Dham and temple trust run gurukuls, where religious education and knowledge are imparted to Hindu children in a traditional style.
Acharya is a prominent Kathawachak (storyteller) with deep connections with the Hindu nationalist ecosystem. He is often seen with prominent BJP leaders and members of other far-right Hindu organizations.
Behind the veil of spirituality and religious teaching, Acharya has been stoking fear and hatred towards Muslims, which he displayed at a Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) rally in New Delhi in 2022.
He said at the rally, attended by thousands of Hindus, “The inhumane killing of Manish… The (Delhi) government wants such terrorists (euphemism for Muslims) and Ma***chas (a derogatory word for Muslims) to engage in such brutal killings.”
Promoting the hoax of Muslim population growth, he said, “They (Muslims) have not one, but many children. They want to marry 14 times and have 40 children.” He then openly suggested Muslim genocide by saying, “We should target and kill them.”
He encouraged and advocated violence by adding, “If such people point fingers at our temple, don’t just chop off the fingers; chop off their hands. If need be, slit their necks. What’s the worst that can happen? A few people will be hanged. We should be mindful, target them and kill them.”
He maintains a low social media profile, yet the audacity and bluntness evince the assured impunity and patronage that he and the likes of him enjoy under the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in India. The event in Delhi was also attended by BJP Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) Nand Kishore Gurjar and Parvesh Verma.