There are a few photographs which the bigwigs of the Hindutva Brigade/Sangh Parivar would like to be erased from public memory. One such photograph shows Sadhvi Pragya, an ex-member of the ABVP, sitting with Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Rajnath Singh and few others. As it was later revealed they had gathered to console the widow of a BJP leader from MP, who had just died.
Public memory is very short but one can stretch it a bit to recollect the tremendous consternation in BJP/RSS circles when Sadhvi Pragya was arrested by the Anti Terrorist Squad led by the legendary police office Hemant Karkare on 23 October, 2008 for her alleged role in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast. This photograph had suddenly gone viral when there were denials by many leaders of the saffron brigade that they had never met her.
Now that the NIA, the federal agency established by the government to combat terror in India, has given a ‘clean chit’ to Sadhvi Pragya and few of her accomplices, should one expect that all those photographs showing her proximity to various leaders of the saffron establishment would be prominently exhibited? It must be remembered that leaders of BJP have even claimed that it was an act of “treason” to arrest her.
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Hindu mythology with its plethora of gods and goddesses (which according to a conservative estimate numbers around 330 millions or 33 crores) has n number of stories supposedly to show the human face of the almighty. One such story talks of the creation of a demon called Bhasmasur by one of the gods himself. The said demon had the unique power of turning everything into ash if he could touch anybody’s head. The story goes that after ‘conquering’ the world the demon tries to attack his ‘creator god’ namely Shiva himself and then Lord Vishnu intervenes and manages to eliminate the demon itself.
Whatever might have been the significance of the story then, it bears striking resemblance to the plight of the RSS – the biggest fountainhead of Hindutva politics in the country – today. And this relates to the arrest of many of its senior wholetimers (called Pracharaks in its lexicon) for their role as masterminds, instigators or patrons of terrorist acts in the country and the ongoing questioning of many other senior leaders for their role in aiding and abetting such acts. Interestingly the parent organisation has till date not formally denied their role in all these acts and nor called it witchhunting as it did when investigations into the Malegaon bomb blast II (Sept 2008) were on and the likes of Sadhvi Pragya, Lt Col Purohit and others from the larger Hindutva family found themselves behind bars. In fact, this time it appears more cautious and according to a report it has even sent few of its leaders who supposedly played some role in these acts on a compulsory leave and has plans to send few more. (Bhaskar, 7 th July 2010).
Continue reading Pracharak as Terrorist – On the Bhasmasur of Hindutva Terror →