In Bajrang Muni’s prouncements, anti-Muslim hatred is rife

Muni is the chief priest of Badi Sangat Ashram in the Khairabad area of Sitapur district, Uttar Pradesh. | Photo: ANI

Mahant Bajrang Muni Udasin was arrested earlier in April 2022 for ‘threatening to kidnap and rape Muslim women,’ but was soon released on bail. In this profile of the controversial priest, what emerges is a pattern: of repeated hate-filled comments against India’s Muslims and other minorities. 

Vipul Kumar |

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NEW DELHI — Within ten days of his arrest for “publicly threatening to kidnap and rape Muslim women,” a local court in Uttar Pradesh granted bail to Mahant Bajrang Muni Udasin and on April 24, he was released. 

Right after his release, Muni told the media, “If I have to go to jail a thousand times, I will. I feel no guilt or regret about what I did. Everything I said was to protect my religion and our Hindu women.”

Muni was arrested on charges of sexual harassment through words, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman, uttering words with deliberate intent to hurt the religious feelings of any person. 

Many journalists have observed a pattern in the arrests and bail cases related to communal charges. The pattern reveals clear bias in granting bail based on religion.

Bajrang Muni and his idols
Muni is the chief priest of Badi Sangat Ashram in the Khairabad area of Sitapur district, Uttar Pradesh. Son of a sub-inspector in Madhya Pradesh Police, he claims to have pursued Bachelor’s in Business Administration (BBA) and worked for Jet Airways before deciding to quit his job and “work for religion”, according to a 2017 Bhaskar report.

In the latest Uttar Pradesh elections, Muni campaigned for Rakesh Rathore who emerged as a winner from the same seat. He also expressed his desire for Yogi Adityanath to be re-elected as the CM. 

In a video uploaded on 19 December 2016, Muni was threatening Muslims and Christians to learn a lesson. He said, “We young saints are not here to run a shop, we are here to protect our religion.” He gave examples of Dara Singh who shook Christians abroad and Pragya Singh who taught lessons to the Muslims in India. “There are still many others like them who can annihilate you, destroy you,” he said, threatening Muslims and Christians. 

Dara Singh is serving a life sentence for leading a mob that set fire to the station wagon in which Graham Staines, a Christian Missionary and his two sons—a ten-year-old and a seven-year-old were sleeping. All three were burnt to death on January 23, 1999. Pragya Singh is accused of September 2006, Malegaon bomb blast. The blast took place in a Muslim cemetery, adjacent to a mosque in Malegaon, in the Nashik district of Maharashtra. The blast left ten people dead and several injured.

In a video uploaded on January 23, 2017, on the 18th anniversary of Stain’s murder, Bajrang Muni recorded a video garlanding a photo of Dara Singh, saying, “This is our revered, god-like and warrior Dara Singh Ji, who burnt to death a sinner like Graham Stains in the same way as lord Ram did to Ravan.” He celebrated 23rd January as ‘Vijay Diwas’ (Victory Day).

Muni calls Yati Narsinghanand his idol. Narsinghanand is accused of giving hate speeches in Haridwar Dharma Sansad held on 17-18-19 December 2021. 

In a video from November 19, 2018, Muni was seen showing support for Yati’s demand for a population control bill. He also said, “I want to tell the Central and state governments that if they don’t listen to Yati Narsinghanand then monks will come out from each corner of India and will burn politicians and bureaucrats alive in their homes.”

Bajrang Muni’s anti-minority videos and assaults
On April 2, a video went viral  in which Muni was seen threatening Muslim women with mass sexual violence in the presence of the police. 

The video was shot on the occasion of Hindu New Year in Sitapur. 

On April 2, he was also heard speaking to a gathering of hundreds of people, in which he raised provocative slogans like “Jab Mulle kaate jayenge toh Ram Ram chillayenge” (When Muslims will be murdered, they will scream Lord Ram’s name). In the same video, he can also be heard asking his supporters to “sing praises of Prabhu (God) and make mullahs(Muslims) sing it too” 

In another video which surfaced on the internet after Muni’s April 2 hate speech video, he can be heard saying, “If you kill one Hindu, I will kill 10 Muslims. If you commit atrocities on one Hindu girl by trapping her into love jihad, I will trap 10 Muslim girls into loving Sanatan and persecute them. You will dupe them but I want to say this openly that I will abduct them in broad daylight.” 

Later, in the same video, he talks about grabbing Muslim land in the ratio of 1:10, if Muslims capture Hindu land. He also suggested violence against those Hindus who vote for Muslims. He termed such Hindus as ‘Jaichands’ which is a commonly used terminology for traitors. While he speaks, police could be seen present on the spot. 

On February 16, 2022, there was an alleged altercation between Muni and a group of Muslim men for possession of land nearby an ashram. After that, the Mahant was admitted to a trauma centre in Lucknow. Muni alleged Piyush Kumar Singh, Circle Officer, City of Sitapur, of plotting his murder.

In another video from October 2020, Muni was seen leading a mob and assaulting a person brutally in the Khairabad area in Uttar Pradesh. BJP leader Saket Mishra has protested against Muni’s alleged land grabbing. The leader suspected that Mahant was complicit in an attack on his house. 

Prominent Muslim leaders have been targeted by Muni too. In a video uploaded on June 29, 2017, flashing an axe, Muni announced a reward of 5 lakhs to any soldier of the Indian army who chops off Azam Khan’s tongue.

Mahant Udasin has also used India’s most communally charged, sub judice topics in his speech and has suggested violence. Before the Ram Mandir verdict was given by the Supreme Court on November 9, 2019, Udasin said, “I believe Ram Mandir can not be built until Hindus pick arms and execute every hurdle coming in the way and make ladders of their corpses leading to Ayodhya.” This video was uploaded on December 11, 2018.

In another video from August 15, 2017, Muni was seen addressing a gathering of Bajrang Dal members where he was flashing a weapon in his hand. He suggested violence for the construction of Ram Mandir. “Our religion won’t be defended unless Muslims are killed,” he added.

Vipul Kumar is a freelance journalist and a student at the Faculty of Law, University of Delhi. He tweets at @vipulizm