Abhijeet Dhananjay Sarag, born in a middle-class family of Shivaji Nagar, the old city of Akola, Maharashtra. He belongs to the Bhavsar community. His father Dhananjay Sarag has a medical shop in Jain Chowk. Kalicharan aka Abhijeet Sarag studied in Shivaji Nagar Parishad School till class VIII only. Due to a lack of interest in studies, his parents sent him to Indore at his aunt’s place.
It was here that he learned to speak Hindi from Marathi. Apart from this, He started visiting Bhayyuji Maharaj’s ashram, he started taking interest in ashram work. While volunteering his services at the ashram, he came in touch with Bhaiyyuji Maharaj. He took Diksha from his Guru Bhaiyyuji Maharaj. There, he learnt to speak Hindi and started leaning towards spirituality. He started to be known as ‘Kalicharan Maharaj’ after that.
Kalicharan soon 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. Kalicharan, is in his mid-40s, his exact date of birth is unknown, but some reports suggest he was born in 1973.
In 2020, Kalicharan became a social media sensation after videos of him singing the Shiva Tandav Strotra went viral. The video was from Bhojeshwar Shiv Temple in Madhya Pradesh. His popularity secured the path for many such videos. One of the professionally rendered videos of his singing Tandav Stotra has gained over two crores views on YouTube. From YouTube popularity, he got his entry into the saffron clan.
Kalicharan Maharaj is quite popular and many of his videos chanting Mantras and Slokas from Hindu scriptures have gone viral. He had tried his luck in civic polls in 2017 but did not succeed. There were rumours that he would contest the Lok Sabha elections in 2019. Kalicharan has been in news recently after the Chhattisgarh government filed FIRs on him over the statements he made at the Raipur Dharma Sansad. He had criticized MK Gandhi and had held him responsible for the partition of India and the brutal massacre of lakhs of Hindus.
Many Hindus religious organizations started inviting him, he became the talk of the town with his red robe with a round tilak on his head and is a Shiv and Kali devotee. He was famous within Hindu fanatic groups. On December 30, Kalicharan was arrested by Raipur Police for criticizing Mahatma Gandhi during a speech in the ‘Dharm Sansad’ event in Chhattisgarh.
Kalicharan booked a guest house in Khajuraho but did not stay there; instead, he went to a rented house some 25 km from Khajuraho to dodge the police, who had been looking for him since the day a case was filed against him. To evade the police from tracking, all his close aides had also switched off their phones. Finally, some of his close friends tipped off the Police about his whereabouts. Police laid a trap and caught him.
Initially, he tried to save himself by making calls to various sources, then he argued with police, and finally surrendered to them. Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra alleged the Chhattisgarh Police violated inter-state protocol by arresting Kalicharan from the state without informing local police and asked the Madhya Pradesh police chief to take up the matter with his Chhattisgarh counterpart.
He received widespread criticism from the ruling Congress government in Chhattisgarh. Sushil Anand Shukla, the state Congress communication wing head said that the use of such words against Mahatma Gandhi was highly objectionable.
This is not the first time that Kalicharan has made provocative speeches. On December 19, he made derogatory comments about Christians and Muslims at an event in Pune, prompting the police to register a case against him and five others. He is a hardcore hate monger and created a lot of unrest between communities.