On May 26, Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) filed a complaint with the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) against serial hate offender Kalicharan Maharaj, against the deeply communal and hate-spewing speeches delivered by Kalicharan Maharaj, alias Abhijit Dhananjay Sarag across Maharashtra from February 2023 to March 2023.
Kalicharan, a so-called religious leader, espouses a hard, right-wing, exclusionist ideology, and can be seen delivering incendiary and inciteful speeches through which he has targeted the religious minorities of our country, especially the Muslim community.
As a part of CJP’s rigorous Hate Watch campaign, it has been diligently maintaining a record of the hate speeches being made by him on public platforms. Based on this record, CJP’s complaint highlighted the following speeches, and also provided the excerpts of the statements made at the said events:
1. Nanded – April 9
He was heard advocating for violence against Muslims and calling them “traitors and terrorist” and making ill-informed and controversial claims about the Quran. The crowd can be heard cheering and whistling to his claims.
2. Maharashtra (unknown location) – April 5
At this event organized by the Sakal Hindu Samaj, Kalicharan can be seen and heard saying that “The violence done for protection of religion is the highest moral virtue. That’s why all our gods and goddesses are violent. For protecting the society, religion and nation, killing is not a sin. If the intention is to protect religion and nation.”
3. Udgir- March 24
At an event at Udgir, Latur, Maharashtra, organized by the Hindu Dharam Sabha, Kalicharan made a claim that 5 crore (50 million) Rohingyas are residing in India. This claim is baseless and untrue because the worldwide population of Rohingyas is approximately 3 million.
4. Baramati- February 9
At the said event, organized by the Hindu Jagarjana Morcha, Kalicharan made the claim that Muslims want to convert everyone because according to them, those who are not Muslims are kaafirs and it is written in the Quran that you should kill a kaafir. He adds, “wives of kaafirs are stolen property and one woman being raped by 50 men is not a big deal.”
5. Nandurbar- February 6
At the said event, organized by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Kalicharan made a claim that 30 years ago, 5 lakh women were raped in Kashmir. He also stated that, “Muslims are prepared. When mosques and Madrassas are raided, swords, AK-47 and RDX are recovered. If temples are raided are any guns or swords ever recovered?” He then goes on to make a baseless claim that Qutubuddin destroyed the Kashi Vishweshwar temple, urinated on a shivling and built a mosque there.
The complaint has emphasised on how statements such as the ones made by Kalicharan add to the current divisive and polarised environment, and even have the potential of inciting the consuming audience, and pose a danger to the individuals belonging to minority communities. The complaint has also highlighted that Kalicharan has offered no data for all the strange, offensive and misinformed claims that he has made. These baseless statements not only stand to destroy the communal harmony in the country but are also reflective of a divisive mindset that can only trigger insecurity and trauma among sections of our own people while working as propaganda on others to commit criminal and violent acts. It was also pointed out in the complaint that his ignorant comments clearly amount to spreading hatred and distrust against vulnerable and marginalized sections of our population, Muslims, besides being a grave threat to the peace, unity and integrity of India.
CJP also highlighted that they have been actively reaching out to district and state authorities as well with respect to taking action against Kalicharan. It is also pertinent to note that this is not the first time CJP has moved the NCM against Kalicharan. On December 28, 2022, CJP had filed a complaint to the NCM regarding Kalicharan’s speech made on December 14, 2022 after he had made derogatory statements, spewed hate against the Muslims and made strange claims at a protest titled the Hindu Jan Aakrosh Morcha, organised by the Hindu right-wing extremist outfit Sakal Hindu Samaj, in Ahmednagar, Maharashtra.
Through the speeches highlighted in the said complaint to the NCM, and based on the background of this serial hate offender, CJP sought a swift and stringent action against Kalicharan under certain sections of the IPC. The complaint states that “It is especially perturbing that even after rigorously complaining to various authorities, hate offenders like Kalicharan Maharaj are able to deliver hate speeches in the state of Maharashtra. Kalicharan Maharaj tops all the hate speeches that took place in Maharashtra, and has given the maximum number of hate speeches in Maharashtra under various banners such as Sakal Hindu Samaj, VHP, Bajrang, and Sri Ram Pratishthan, all of which propagate an extremist and divisive ideology.”
CJP urged that the speech given by Kalicharan be acted upon as well as criminal changes be levied on him for uttering such words that can cause problems for the safety and security of the minority community in our country, threaten and intimidate women and also threaten social harmony in general.
The entire complaint can be read here: