Last December, a UP government officer, Murli Dhar Singh termed Prime Minister Narendra Modi the incarnation of Lord Shiva. In March, Rajasthan’s BJP MLA Gyan Chand Parakh repeated the trope and even gave evidence to support the incarnation theory. “When Mahadev’s third eye opens, there is a catastrophe. When Modi opened his third eye, terrorists were wiped out from Kashmir. There was a surgical strike on Pakistani soil,” he said.
In February 2017, to mark Maha Shivratri, Modi unveiled a 112-foot-tall Shiva statue in Coimbatore, and this month he inaugurated the Mahakal corridor in Ujjain. Several claims have recently gained ground over the sites of Shiva. Besides Ujjain, Kashi’s Vishwanath temple is the seat of one of the 12 jyotirlingas. With the purported discovery of a shivalinga in the Gyanvapi premises, the site is on the brink of political volcano. Some Hindu groups have also claimed a Shiva temple at the Taj Mahal. The frenetic claims of the Hindutva brigade over the deity even brought a rap from Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat. Why do you “look for a shivalinga in every mosque?” he recently said.