Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati, the Mahant of Dasna Devi temple was Deepak Tyagi before taking Sanyaas. He was born in an influential upper-middle-class family and had obtained an MTech degree in Chemical Engineering from Moscow.
The Dasna Devi Temple was recently under media glare over the temple authorities vocal stand against local Muslims trying to desecrate the shrine. While liberals created a hullabaloo over the incident of a Muslim boy getting slapped, it unwittingly brought to fore the lingering issues faced by the village’s Hindu community.
It was the abbot of the Dasna Devi Temple, Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati, whose vocal support to the temple’s rule of banning entry to Muslims caused a furore in the media. He recently penned an article on Samachar 24*7 in which he explained the incident that transformed him from a non-observant Hindu to a devout one and urged fellow Hindus to fight for the honours for their daughters and sisters.
In numerous media interviews and social media interactions, Narsinghanand Saraswati boldly voiced his stand and asserted that due to constant attempts of desecration, theft, robbery and molestation of female devotees inside the premises, the temple has taken an authoritative stand of not allowing entry to Muslims and he will maintain it.
Deepak Tyagi’s journey towards becoming Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati
Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati was not always a pious practising Hindu as we would imagine after he rose to prominence in the wake of the Dasna Devi temple controversy. There is a poignant backstory behind what inspired Yati Narsinghanand to shun the materialistic world and espouse a Hindu Sadhu’s life.
In the article, Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati recounted in detail what kindled a spiritual awakening in him and pushed him to become what he is today. Narsinghanand stated that it was the death of an innocent girl back in 1997 that had a profound effect on him and that completely upended his life.
Before renouncing the world and becoming a sanyasi (a Hindu religious saint), Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati was known as Deepak Tyagi. He was a chemical engineer and had completed his M.Tech from Moscow. Deepak had always yearned to do something big in his life, so after returning from Moscow, he felt he should be joining politics.
Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati writes that he was born in an upper-middle-class peasant family. His grandfather was a Congress official from Bulandshahr and his father was the national level leader of the Union Government Employees Union. Since he was born in a Tyagi family, which was well entrenched in politics, he made acquaintances and was soon elevated to the District head position of the Youth Brigade of the Samajwadi Party.
Narsinghanand asserted that his association with the Samajwadi Party, his grandfather being a Congress official and his education from abroad meant that he was never enamoured with the idea of Hindutva. Additionally, for him, religion was no less than superstition and hypocrisy. He also remembers that he had a sizeable number of Muslim friends because he was from Meerut, was associated with the Samajwadi Party and had completed his graduation from abroad.
However, his first brush with Hindutva came when he met one of the founding members of the BJP and the former BJP MP from Delhi, Baikunth Lal Sharma “Prem” Ji. Narsinghanand recalls that Sharma told him horrifying atrocities committed by Muslims that left him in utter disbelief. And a few days later, an incident occurred that irreversibly pushed Narsinghanand into the folds of Hindutva.
Jihad against Hindu girls pushed Deepak Tyagi to the Hindutva fold
According to the Dasna Devi Temple mahant, since he was a local leader, a girl from his community approached him and recounted how she was sexually abused by the Muslim boys in her college. As per Narsinghanand’s account, the girl had befriended a Muslim girl of her class, who had introduced her to a Muslim boy. Together, the girl and the boy had managed to click some objectionable pictures of the Hindu girl and forced her to have sexual relations with every Muslim boy in her college. Narsinghanand says she was not the only girl to be sexually exploited. There were at least 50 other Hindu girls in the college who were blackmailed into sexual exploitation by Muslim boys. The mahant said there were some Hindu boys also who colluded with the Muslims to blackmail the girls.
Narsinghanand was aghast to hear about the girl’s plight. When inquired what took her so long for her to complain about this atrocity, the girl said the Muslims who were involved in exploitation racket were regularly seen beside him. The girl said that it was because of people like him (Deepak Tyagi) that girls were being sexually exploited.
“She held me responsible for her exploitation. When I said that I was completely unaware of such happenings, she said it was impossible that I was not aware of these shenanigans. These Muslims send girls to others, they force them to eat meat, you must have also gotten something from them, the girl said. Her words had shaken me from the core,” Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati recalled in the article.
Remembering the girl’s anguish, Narsinghanand said, “The girl warned me that one day I will too have a daughter and she might also be exposed to the organised harassment and sexual exploitation by a section of Muslims.
When Narsinghanand asked her how is it an issue between Hindu and Muslims, she responded that it is a type of jihad waged by Muslims against the Hindus. Narsinghanand says it was for the first time that he had heard the word ‘jihad’. The girl then, Narsinghanand says, acquainted him with the definition of jihad.
“I held that girl’s hand in my hand and said that it is not necessary to have a daughter to understand the pain and the indignity she had been subjected to. The girl started crying loudly and slowly left my office. I was gutted from the inside. I sat their motionless, a complex set of emotions churning through my mind. This churning gave rise to new feelings and my life was changed forever. I started reading the books and the history of Islam. The more I read, the more I felt the anguish and pain suffered by that girl,” Narsinghanand wrote in his article.
However, when Narsinghanand decided to take the plunge and fight for the girl, she was dead. He says he is still haunted by the girl in his dreams. Even today, he says he acutely feels the pain suffered by that girl and her sobbing still resonates in his ears.
“I paid homage to her in the same way as a father and a brother would pay. I may not be her biological father but I do treat her as my daughter. For years, I kept this traumatic story suppressed in the deeper recesses of my heart. But, today it has become necessary to tell this tale to everyone,” Narsinghanand wrote.
Hindus need to acknowledge the dangers staring them in their faces: Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati
“She made me realised what Hindus have long forgotten. A daughter is not just a daughter of a man, she is the daughter of the entire community. I don’t know that has happened to our conscience that we don’t want to acknowledge the destruction staring us in our face,” he further added.
He said that despite being aware of the dangers facing the Hindu daughters, the conscience of Hindus is not awakened. Today, the number of such incidents have grown but we are hardly bothered about it, Narsinghanand lamented.
“I have no regrets about anything. Whatever I could do, I did and whatever I can do, I will do, as long as I am alive. I am just saddened that because of a few rotten apples, the entire Hindu community is let down and we couldn’t do enough about it,” he said.
Towards the end, Narsinghanand had harsh words for the Hindu community and its leaders who failed in protecting its daughter from the menace of Islamic jihad.
Concluding his article, Narsinghanand Saraswati writes that he wishes the Hindu community realises that it is high time they face the realities and stop this organised harassment of Hindu girls. He emphasised the importance of electing leaders who recognise these issues.