Tag: Hindutva

Is Sadhvi Pragya Thakur BJP’s Sam Pitroda?

Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur

Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, Bharatiya Janata Party’s candidate from Bhopal parliamentary seat in the Lok Sabha elections 2019, continues issuing controversial statements, leaving the leadership of the party red-faced.

On May 16, when asked for her opinion on Kamal Haasan’s controversial remark that India’s first terrorist was a Hindu (referring to Nathuram Godse, who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi),  Sadhvi responded, saying “Godse was a ‘Deshbhakt’ (patriot), is a ‘Deshbhakt’, and will remain a “Deshbhakt. People calling him a terrorist should instead look within, such people will be given a fitting reply in the election”.

Her statement prompted the Congress leaders to demand an apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “Modi-Amit Shah ji’s favourite BJP leader, Pragya Thakur once again insulted the whole nation by calling Gandhi’s killer, Nathuram Godse a true patriot,” said Congress’s chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala.

In a damage-control exercise, BJP spokesperson had to say, “We completely disagree with her statement and strongly condemn it. The BJP will ask her why she made such a statement. It would be proper for her to tender a public apology for this objectionable statement”.  And an apology followed.

Pragya Thakur, an accused in Malegoan blast case, has been fielded against Congress veteran Digvijay Singh, who had propagated “Hindu terror” bogey when the UPA was in power. Sadhiv was in jailed for nine years, mostly without being charge-sheeted. Later, she was given clean chit in terror charges, though continues to be under trial for unlawful activities. Her candidacy was a symbolic move to highlight the false and sinister narration of “Saffron terror”, said the BJP.

However, Sadhvi’s entry into active politics kick-started with a controversial statement as she claimed her curse killed Hemanth Karkare, the chief of Mumbai’s Anti Terrorism Squad who was martyred in 26/11 terror attacks. Later, she was made to apologise for making such statement.

Meanwhile, hashtag PragyaSinghThakur started trending on top. But the following tweet by senior journalist, known for her balanced view, shows the extent of the damage done by Sadhvi’s remark.

Textbook rewriting: Rajasthan clips Veer out of Savarkar

Veer Savarkar
Veer Savarkar

In a bid to “de-saffronise” education in the state, the Congress government in Rajasthan is rewriting school textbooks. An example of major changes made can be traced to a chapter on Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, popularly known as “Veer Savarkar”, in the Social Science text book for Class X, to be introduced in the next academic year.

A leaked specimen copy shows no prefix “Veer” mentioned along “Savarkar” in his biography. Also the RSS ideologue is described as a conspirator, who plotted the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi and begged the British for mercy and apologised thrice to get his jail term reduced when he was lodged in Andaman prison in the revised text.

“Troubled by the afflictions in jail, Savarkar sent mercy petitions to the British government. For the first time, the mercy petitions were sent on August 30, 1910 and the other was sent on November 14, 1911, in which Savarkar mentions himself as son of Portugal,” the new version said.

The chapter on Veer Savarkar was added in 2017, when the BJP was in power. The Congress government, which assumed office six months ago, has set up a new textbook committee in march this year to review syllabus for government schools.

Education minister Govind Dotasara accused the previous government of forcing RSS ideology on education and glorifying people who “had no contributions in the independence struggle”. He said  the “distortions” would be removed by the new government.

Fact: Savarkar was, in fact, arrested after the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi but acquitted by the court later.

The Wikipedia page describes him as “an Indian independence activist, politician, lawyer, writer, and the formulator of the Hindutva philosophy.”

“As a response to the right wing Muslim league, Savarkar joined the Hindu Mahasabha and popularized the term Hindutva (Hinduness), previously coined by Chandranath Basu, to create a collective ‘Hindu’ identity as an essence of Bharat” it says.