Understand the recent controversy about Dhirendra Krishna Shastri of Bageshwar Dham

A young guy by the name of Dhirendra Krishna Shastri has been getting attention across multiple platforms, including television, newspapers, websites, and social media, for a variety of reasons over the past few days. Shastri, who is only 26 years old, is referred to as the “Bageshwar Dham Sarkar” on the website of the organisation that he manages, which is called “Bageshwar Dham.”

The self-proclaimed godman, who was born on July 4, 1996 (according to the website), is depicted wearing brightly coloured headgear and clothing. He asserts that he possesses supernatural powers and can solve devotees’ problems with the assistance of Balaji, also known as Lord Hanuman, even if the devotee does not tell him about their issues. He makes prognoses concerning their future.

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In addition, there are images on the website that were taken of Madhya Pradesh minister Narottam Mishra at the Bageshwar Dham. According to the website, ‘Ramkatha’ by Shastri is responsible for drawing tens of thousands of devotees to the location known as ‘Bageshwar Dham,’ and he is involved with a great deal of public charity work.The holy site of Bageshwar Dham may be found in Madhya Pradesh’s Chattarpur district.

The infamous debate 

The present controversy concerning Dhirendra Krishna Shastri began when a group called the “Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti” led by Professor Shyam Manav accused him of spreading superstitions in Nagpur, which is where he was hosting a “Ramkatha darbar” at the beginning of this month.

The anti-superstition organisation that is based in Maharashtra filed a complaint regarding him under the Maharashtra Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifice and Other Inhuman, Evil, and Aghori Practices and Black Magic Act, 2013, which was passed in 2013.

In addition, the Samiti guaranteed that Shastri would receive Rs 30 lakh in compensation if he were successful in persuading their panel of “independent, unbiased observers” of his extraordinary abilities. After being presented with the challenge, the samiti asserted that Shastri “ran away from Nagpur” in order to avoid taking it.

In the meantime, Shastri issued an invitation to the committee to visit the location of his subsequent camp in Chhattisgarh: Raipur.

Shastri was observed engaging with followers in the midst of national media while making the claim that he does not possess any mystical abilities and that Lord Hanuman is the sole possessor of all powers.

Soon after, recordings showing him calling journalists from the crowd and providing details about them and their family members began making the rounds on social media.

The responses of a few journalists, who appeared to be astonished, led to significant condemnation, with some observers accusing the journalists of “unprofessionalism” and stating that all of the information can be easily found from social media accounts. In addition, some “mind-readers” and sceptics were observed questioning him with similar stunts while he was performing in studios. 

Shastri and his supporters alleged that he was being attacked because he was disputing religious conversions and engaging in “ghar wapsi.” This is because the godman from Madhya Pradesh is also accused of pressing the topic of religious conversion, which is also one of the BJP’s electoral agendas.

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