Hindu Holy Men Demand that India Be Declared a “Hindu Nation”

On January 29, a gathering of Sadhus, a holy person in Hinduism, passed a resolution that calls for Prime Minister Modi’s Indian government and the government of Uttar Pradesh to declare India a Hindu Rashtra (Hindu State). The group also laid out other demands, including capital punishment for religious conversions and the release of Yati Narasinghanand Saraswati and Waseem Rizvi.

Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati is the head of the Dasna Devi temple in Uttar Pradesh. Saraswati was arrested earlier this year and was sent to 14-day judicial custody. During a speech he made in Haridwar city, the militant priest faces multiple charges, including inciting violence against Muslims.

Waseem Rizvi was also arrested for inciting violence around the same time and is expected to receive similar charges. Both are at the forefront of the extreme right-wing movements in Uttar Pradesh.

Narendra Anand Giri, an organizer of the January 29 gathering, said the group will “organize a massive protest across the country if Narasinghanand and Tyagi (Rizvi) are not released within a week.” He then threatened a possible bombing if demands were not met.

The group plans to force Modi’s administration to adopt their call to turn India into a Hindu state. “The government may not declare India as a Hindu nation, but all Hindus should start writing and terming the country a Hindu Rashtra,” the group said. “By doing so, the government would be compelled to declare the country a Hindu nation,” they added.

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