Pragya Thakur as Electoral Candidate: Portents for the future


Ram Puniyani

In the general election of 2019, very sectarian issues are being thrown up by the ruling BJP. To cap up the issues like citizenship bill, Kabristan, Vande Matram, pseudo nationalism; now BJP has put up Pragya Thakur as the candidate from Bhopal Lok Sabha seat. Pragya is one of the key accused in acts of terror, particularly in cases related to Malegaon, Ajmer, Makkah Masjid and Samjhauta express, blasts in which many innocents lost their lives and hundreds got injured.  After her joining BJP a week ago and after being nominated for Lok Sabha seat she has given many statements which are very disturbing at one level and show the mindset of Pragya and BJP.

A brief recap about her case is in order. After the Malegaon blast of 2008, in which six people died and over hundred got injured, the Maharashtra ATS chief heading the investigation, Hemant Karkare, after the painstaking investigation got a vital clue. It was related to the motorcycle used in the Malegaon blast. Based on the number on the chassis of motorcycle he caught hold of Pragya, in whose name the vehicle was registered. This led to the series of arrests in which Lt. Col. Purohit, Major Upadhyay, Swami Dayanand Pandey and Swami Aseemanand among others were involved. The lap tops, the conversation and other meticulously collected evidences led to unearthing of the deeper plot in which many of the accused were related to RSS in some way. One of the damning and crucial evidence was the confession of Swami Aseemanand. In a legally valid confession in front of a magistrate he revealed the whole plot.

After NDA II, with BJP in the lead, came to power in 2014, the NIA started pursuing the cases with a different approach. The biggest evidence of this was the statement of Rohini Salian, the concerned public prosecutor, who stated that she was told to go softer on the cases. She refused to do and was shifted out from her role of the public prosecutor. In case of Pragya, the NIA in 2016 approached the courts, with the charge sheet exonerating her of the crime. Also stating that she is having Cancer of the breast and is unable to walk even with support. The court in its wisdom framed the charge sheet against her and granted her bail purely on medical ground, not exonerating her of the crime. As the matters stand she is the one accused of terrorist activity and on bail on medical grounds.

After her nomination from Bhopal Lok sabha seat she said that Hemant Karkare died due to her curse (Shrap). Hemant Karkare along with two other police officers had died in the 27/11 2008 terror attack sponsored from Pakistan. Kakrkare, a brave officer chose to fight the terror attack on the street and died of the bullets of the terrorists. Now Pragya’s statement has been the worst insult to a martyr who died while performing his duties, while saving the nation from the terror attack. Later Prgya retracted her statement saying she is withdrawing her statement as it may benefit the enemies! Some pointed out that if she has the mythical power of giving sharp, why did she not give sharp to the terror masterminds sitting in Pakistan? She also said that Karkare had tortured her so she gave the curse. This is a lie, as National Human Rights Commission investigated the issue of torture and found no evidence of torture whatsoever. Karkare’s investigation was based purely on the grounds of evidences collected by him.

In the aftermath of this insulting outpouring from her many well known names from police force, many well known for their integrity and upright work like Julio Rebeiro, Prakash Singh and Meeran Borwankar among others, came forward through articles or TV interviews putting forward their opinion about Karkare. As per them; Karkare was upright, honest officer with a professional approach to his work. Karkare during his life time was called Deshdrohi and anti-national by many a leaders of Hindutva. Currently Narendra Modi came forward to defend the nomination of Pargya by saying that to accuse her of being involved in an act of terror is to insult the five thousand year old Hindu civilization! Does Pragya stand to represent the civilization values of this land? Far from it. India’s past is plural, interactive and accepting with open arms the traditions which prevail here. India’s civilization is represented by likes of Gautam Buddha, Bhagwan Mahavir, Kabir, Guru Nanak, Nizamuddin Auliya and Gandhi among others, those who talked of love, peace, tolerance and peace and not the likes of Pragya.

Pragya suffering from breast cancer is another of the mystery. As the medical board headed by J J Hospital dean found her not to be suffering from any cancer. As per her she has been cured by cow urine and Panch gavya. Panch Gavya is a mixture of cow milk, urine, dung, curd and ghee. Such preposterous claims are in toe with the blind faith being promoted by sectarian nationalism being propounded by the ideology to which she belongs. Her illness, and its cure by Cow urine and Panch gavya is a mystery by itself.

Pragya also claims to have been part of Babri demolition squad. The election commission has given her a notice on this issue. So this is a self confessed crime! Apart from being the major accused in Malegaon blasts for which the case is on against her, she is confessing to her crime in Babri demolition. What type of signal is being given by BJP by naming her as the Candidate? Surely BJP is unfolding its Hindutva agenda to the full by now. Earlier with people like Vajpayee in the helm; the moderate image was the electoral compulsion, now with increased communalization after Ram Temple and Holy cow, BJP is feeling emboldened enough to reveal its true color: divisiveness, violence and sectarianism, something which is totally against the values of Indian Constitution.