Solidifying Hindutva–BJP Nominated Sadhavi Pragya for Elections

By Sajjad Shaukat

General elections 2019, which started in India on April 11 are being held in 7 phases and will continue till May.

In a recent move, the ruling party Bhartia Janta Party (BJP) has announced that Sadhavi Pragya Singh Thakur (an accused in Malegaon blast case-2008) joined the party and subsequently, was nominated for Lok Sabha seat from Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. It is one of the four seats in MP where polling is scheduled on May 12. BJP has remained undefeatable in Bhopal since 1989 though it has a sizeable Muslim population. By fielding Sadhavi Pragya Singh against a strong Congress candidate, the BJP is hoping for polarization.

Sadhavi Pragya Singh Thakur is presently, out on bail in “2008 Malegaon bomb blast case”. On September 29, 2008, two bombs fitted on a motorcycle exploded resulting in killing of seven people and injuring over 100 (mainly Muslims) in Malegaon. Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS)–headed by the then ATS chief Hemant Karkare had booked Ms. Thakur, Lt Col Purohit and several others in the case within months of the incident. Karkare was later killed in false flag operation of Mumbai terror incident on November 26, 2008. Since then, the case was handled by three different agencies, including the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the National Investigation Agency (NIA). She was accused of supplying her bike and sending two of her confidantes–Ramji and Sandeep Dange–to do the job of planting the bomb in Motorcycles at Bhikku Chowk and Modassa Chowk, Malegaon.

Sadhavi Pragya Singh Thakur has spent nine years in jail. In 2015, the NIA apparently gave her a “clean chit” in Malegaon blasts, however, investigation/court proceedings against her continued. She is also an accused in 2007 Ajmer Dargah case. In 2017, the NIA cleared Ms. Singh as well as Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader Indresh Kumar of their involvement in that case as well. Interferingly, RSS activist Swami Aseemanand had confessed in the court that several Hindu extremists—RSS preachers and Sang activists were directly involved in planning, financing and executing Malegaon, Samjhauta Express, Ajmer and Mecca Masjid blasts. He stated that various leaders of Hindu communal organizations including Bajrang Dal, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Abhinav Bharat, Jai Vande Matram and Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram were also behind these blasts.

In this regard, exposing the nexus between the BJP and the RSS, the then Indian Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde disclosed on January 20, 2013 that organized training camps run by the fundamentalist parties, RSS and BJP were promoting Hindu Terrorism. He also explained that these extremist parties were behind the Samjhauta Express, Meccca Masjid and Malegaon blasts. He added, “We will have to think about it (Saffron terrorism) seriously…Hindu extremist parties BJP and RSS were involved many times in Hindu Muslim violence in India, especially Gujarat and Babri masjid incident.”

The then India’s External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid endorsed Shinde’s statement, saying that it was based on facts. Meanwhile, Indian Home Secretary R K Singh revealed that during investigation the government had found ten names of the Hindu extremists, associated with RSS, who were involved in these terror attacks including Ajmer Sharif.

Similarly, on July 19, 2013, the Indian ex-investigating officer Satish Verma disclosed that terror-attacks in Mumbai in November 26, 2008 and assault on Indian Parliament in January 12, 2001 were carried out by the Indian government to strengthen anti-terrorism laws.

While, New Delhi has always accused Pakistan’s primary intelligence agency ISI of these acts of terrorism, but it is quite silent over Hindutva (Hindu nationalism) related terrorism which has obtained a new face, under the fundamentalist Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as Indian RAW, country’s high officials and fundamentalist parties have co-relationship.

However, Sadhavi Pragya Singh Thakur’s nomination as BJP candidate in Lok Sabha polls has generated censure, dislike and criticism from all the walks of Indian life. Commenting on the development, former minister of the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) Mehbooba Mufti tweeted, “Imagine the anger if I’d field a terror accused. Channels would’ve gone berserk by now trending a Mehbooba terrorist Hashtag!”.

Nevertheless, the NIA played its role in exonerating the accused Hindu extremists in Malegaon, Ajmer Sharif, Samjhota Train, Gujarat programmes and other incidents where Muslims were targeted. NIA’s role in IOK in harassing Kashmiri leadership, arrests and killings of Kashmiri people in NIA custody are also notable.

It is mentionable that despite the confessions of Swami Aseemanand, instead of taking action against the culprits of the Samjhota Express explosion, the Supreme Court of India accepted the bail of Swami Aseemanand after the covert interference of the Modi-led authorities who changed the investigations in this respect in order to weaken the case. However, other accused persons who were involved in various terror-related incidents (as already mentioned) were also released. It has exposed biased Hindu dominated judicial system of India.

In fact, ideology of Hindutva prevails in every field at the cost of other minority groups. It is even supported by Indian defense forces secretly.

It is of particular attention that Indian Prime Modi’s extremist BJP had got a land sliding triumph in the Indian elections 2014 on the basis of anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan slogans. Therefore, since the Prime Minister Modi came to power, he has been implementing anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan agenda with the support of fanatic coalition outfits.

Notably, the Constitution declares India to be a secular state, granting equal rights to the religious minorities, but in practice, ideology of Hindutva prevails. Hindu politics and culture, dominated by the fundamentalists parties such as BJP, RSS, VHP, Shiv Sena and other similar groups have been propagating Hindutva agenda. Under Modi rule, Muslim anxiety in India is multiplying due the fact that during the election campaign, Hindu majority was mobilized on ‘hate Muslim’ slogans.

Nonetheless, if we focus on the Indian Lok Sabha elections, we can note that insignificant number of Muslims candidates have been nominated by all the parties. The trend strongly indicates that India has evolved into a Hindu dominated country (Hindu rashtra) and so-called secularist mask is used to hoodwink the world. In this connection, nomination of Hindu extremist accused person like Sadhavi Pragya Singh Thakur is vivid manifestation of the same with a view to solidifying Hindutva.

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