Belonging to Akola in Maharashtra, Kalicharan, who is in his mid-30s, first became known in 2020 after a video of him reciting the Shiv Tandav Strotam went viral.
Originally called Abhijit Dhananjay Sarang, Kalicharan reportedly changed his name after he met with an accident while in his teens that badly twisted his leg but left him with only a hairline fracture. He believed it to be the blessing of Goddess Kali, of whom he was a devotee.
#WATCH Raipur Police arrests Kalicharan Maharaj from Madhya Pradesh’s Khajuraho for alleged inflammatory speech derogating Mahatma Gandhi
(Video source: Police) pic.twitter.com/xP8oaQaR7G
— ANI (@ANI) December 30, 2021
Having dropped out of school before Class 10, Kalicharan soon after moved to an ashram in Mudumalai, Tamil Nadu, where he claimed to have seen a vision of Rishi Agastya, one of the most revered saints of Hindu mythology. He says it was this that inspired him to become a sadhu.
In his speech at the Dharam Sansad in Raipur on December 25-26, over which he was arrested, Kalicharan had said he had a habit of abusing. He had allegedly abused Mahatma Gandhi and hailed Nathuram Godse for killing him.
Kalicharan also accused minorities of trying to control the politics and administration of various countries.