Sadhvi Pragya Thakur is BJP’s grotesque face behind the development veil
There has been a nationwide outcry over the BJP’s decision to field Sadhvi Pragya Thakur as its Lok Sabha election candidate from the Bhopal constituency. The self-styled Hindu monk, who wears saffron attire to deceive the faithful Hindus, is a Hindutva terror accused out on bail after submitting false information in the court. Thakur is an accused of the heinous Malegaon bomb blast of 2008, which killed six and wounded 101 victims, and she is considered as an Eminence Grise of the RSS’s terror outfit Abhinav Bharat. The Abhinav Bharat organisation is accused of perpetrating a series of terror attacks in India since 2006, targeting the Muslim community.
Thakur, along with Swami Aseemanand or Naba Kumar Sarkar and Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Purohit, were nabbed in 2008 during a series of raids by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), led by its then chief Hemant Karkare. The ATS found the involvement of a Bullet motorcycle registered in the name of Thakur in the terrorist acts. The involvement of the Hindutva terrorists was found in terrorist incidents like the Malegaon blast of 2006, which killed 40 and wounded many, Samjhauta Express blast in 2007, which killed 68 and injured a score of passengers, the Mecca Masjid blast, the Ajmer Dargah blast, etc. Shortly after Thakur was nabbed by his team, Karkare was killed during the infamous 26 November terror attack in Mumbai.
While Thakur is an undertrial in a National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Mumbai over her role in the Malegaon blasts, Aseemanand was accused of triggering the Samjhauta Express blast. An accomplice of Thakur and Aseemanand, RSS leader Sunil Joshi was found murdered when he was trying to surrender and become a witness in December 2007. Thakur is currently out on bail after she misguided the Bombay High Court in believing that she is infirm and suffering due to breast cancer by submitting fake medical certificates.
Though the NIA, which took over the charge of investigation from the Maharashtra ATS in 2010, started diluting and dropping the charges against Thakur, Aseemanand, etc, to free them from custody, following the diktats of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP government, the NIA court didn’t put Thakur out of the suspicion net. Even while acquitting Aseemanand, the NIA court lambasted the agency for failing to provide crucial evidence, including mobile phone data and CCTV footage of Old Delhi Railway Station, and also for the rate at which witnesses turned hostile.
The NIA’s softening of stance on Hindutva terrorism was first highlighted by the former Public Prosecutor Rohini Salian after she was pressurised by the agency to “go soft” on the Malegaon blast 2008 case. Capitulating to the pressure exerted by the BJP, the NIA gave up crucial cases like the Samjhauta Express blast; by allowing Aseemanand to go scot-free, and by not objecting to the bail petition of Thakur. It’s expected that very soon the NIA will drop all charges and help Thakur get an acquittal.
Aseemanand’s release from the jail was hailed by none else than the prime minister, who equated the Hindutva fascist terrorists with Hindus and claimed that there isn’t anything like “Hindu terrorism” and accused the Congress of inventing a conspiracy theory to malign the Hindus. The nincompoops of Modi caught the underlying message from the prime minister’s speech and have been since trying to justify and normalise Hindutva terrorism by increasingly embracing terror accused like Thakur.
After his release, Aseemanand has reportedly left for West Bengal to work in the Bankura district as a Hindutva fascist proselytiser and raise an army of pugnacious and feral Hindutva-incensed fanatics. Thakur is reportedly chosen to revive the fortune of the saffron camp in her home state as the BJP suffered a serious setback to the Congress in the last assembly election due to a high-tide of anti-incumbency wave caused by Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s massive corruptions and anti-farmer policies.
The RSS and the BJP know that they can’t get back to the pedestal of power in the state unless they resort to rabid Hindutva fascist hate mongering and unleash terror against the Muslim community. Thakur is the best choice for this mission as she comes from the upper-caste feudal background, and her appeal as a monk will have religious implications because not many faithful and politically-backward masses will show the courage to defy her call to vote fearing spiritual repercussions. Strategically, she is made a candidate against Congress’s Digvijay Singh due to his vocal opposition to Hindutva fascist terrorism and vouching for secularism. The RSS and the BJP have been portraying Singh as a pseudo-Hindu and an ardent Muslim-lover since a long time to turn his upper-caste feudal backers against him.
Soon after her candidature was endorsed, Thakur started spewing communal venom like any trained RSS apparatchik, calling out Karkare’s death as a result of her curse, without clarifying whether the terrorists who attacked Mumbai and killed Karkare were vessels to execute her spiritual curse. The unapologetic bashing of a police officer who died fighting terrorists, using choicest adjectives, was applauded by her saffron-clad sycophants with extreme vigour. Her uninhibited claim that she played a role in demolishing the Babri Masjid in 1992, at the age of four, though caused the otherwise nonchalant Election Commission to send her a sermon, the regular hatred spewing by her and her coterie, targeting the Muslims, her call to establish a Hindu Rashtra and upholding the sanctity of the saffron banner (not the Constitution) aren’t causing any discomfort for the election-conductor despite such propaganda going against the Constitution and the rules of fair elections.
Since Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s era, the BJP’s box of bigots was never short of surprises. When Modi was chosen as the prime minister candidate in 2013, then many were frightened to see the most notorious character of the saffron party reaching the helm, threatening the secular character of the Indian Constitution. However, four years later in 2017, when the BJP chose Yogi Adityanath, a serial hate monger, rioter and Hindutva rabble-rouser, as the Uttar Pradesh chief minister, the threat posed by Modi was dwarfed due to the anointment of a vicious character as his heir-apparent in the Sangh’s pantheon.
The choice of a Hindutva fascist terror accused like Thakur to represent the BJP in Bhopal is just a step towards finally accolading the likes of Shambhulal Raigar, the Hindutva terrorist who hacked and burned to death a Muslim labourer in Rajasthan on camera, or the cow vigilante mob lynchers who have been rampaging the streets of India and killing hapless Muslims accusing them of cattle slaughter, as official representatives of the BJP in the parliament or whatever will be left of it in the days to come.
Neither the BJP nor Modi spoke much about “Vikas” (development), “Acche Din”(better days), or the leitmotif “Gujarat Model” during the campaigning of 2019 Lok Sabha election. Even after hyping demonetisation and the GST in the past, which collectively unleashed a reign of gigantic economic crisis, both Modi and his sycophants are silent over the achievements from these disastrous policies. Rather than talking about the economic crisis the country is reeling through, rather than showing any concrete economic plan to rescue the economy from the crisis zone, all that Modi and the Hindutva camp can emphasise on is a controversial “surgical strike” which is proven as a hoax by the international media. It shows that the BJP can only depend on extreme communal polarisation and jingoistic chest thumping to sweep the election.
To capitalise on and to exploit the vulnerability of the upper-caste and politically-backward lower-caste Hindus’, who fall victim to hysteric anti-Pakistan xenophobic content transformed into hysteric Islamophobia, the BJP is trying to utilise the faces like Thakur and her coterie to win the Lok Sabha election. Both the BJP and the RSS know that they have infiltrated inside all major state institutions, including the armed forces, and using the clout over these institutions and backed by a brute majority in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, it will be able to change the Constitution by 2022 and establish a Hindu Rashtra – the tyrannical rule of the feudal-comprador upper-caste reactionaries – and do away with the concept of universal suffrage, ending their dependence on issues to fool the common people.
To think that the tyrannical rule of Modi and the terrorists like Thakur can be merely defeated by numerical supremacy in the elections by the forces detrimental to the BJP, like the Congress, will not only be erroneous but will become cause of severe setbacks for the toiling people, the poor peasantry, working class and the toiling masses. The BJP’s defeat can become truly possible when the RSS will be defeated. To defeat the RSS at the grassroots, one needs to cut-off its supply line, wean away the backward castes and Dalits from its fold, and overthrow the socio-economic dominance of the foreign capital, the reactionary feudal and comprador classes.
The exploitative socio-economic system harnessed by the crony-comprador capitalists, feudal landlords, foreign corporations and other enemies of the people are responsible for the dominance of the Hindutva fascist menace in India and a mere change of government will not end it because all these terrorist strikes will take place when the BJP will not be in power and the compromised state machinery will never act tough against the likes of Thakur, Aseemanand or Purohit the way it will deal with Yasin Bhatkal or his associates. To do away with the threat that looms large over India and to usher new dawn of democracy, freedom and equality, the broad masses of the people must be brought in a massive anti-fascist struggle led by the progressive-democratic forces against Hindutva fascism and the socio-economic conditions that back it.
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