Sadhvi Pragya The Candidature of Courage & Conviction
” It is a matter of record that in the Mumbai 11.7.2006 cases, it took almost five to six months when the investigation was in a straight line for the ATS to arrest the suspects. In Malegaon, it took just 35 days for the same ATS from the date of occurrence to arrest a serving Indian Army Officer, Lt Col Shrikant Prasad Purohit. In these 35 days, some time would have also been lost in the procedural work involved in transfer of the case to ATS. More time would also have been lost in getting the required clearances from the Defence Headquarters for imputing the charges on a serving defence officer. Hence, it is hard to digest that in less than a month, wisdom dawned on the ATS that Malegaon was the handiwork of Hindu terror groups, although the field-level police personnel of the range continued to report that Ahl-e-Hadith was involved”.
Hindu Terror, RVS Mani, Vitasta Publication, 2018, PP. 40-41
As the Bharatiya Janata Party gave another masterstroke by fielding Sadhvi Pragya Bharati as the party candidate from Bhopal against the Congress stalwart Digvijaya Singh, many liberal-intellectual voices raised about her qualifications for being the party candidate. Many openly flagged the ‘Hindu Terror’ accused debate and argued on the grounds of propriety and morality, while the originator of the ‘Hindu-Terror’ theory, the Congress party preferred to keep mum over her candidature and in fact, refrained from participating in the debate and discussions that took place in the television studios. The significance of candidature of Sadhvi Pragya certainly has electoral consequences, simultaneously and more importantly it has a national context that needs to be analysed with deeper connotations.
The Malegaon Blasts that took place a few months after the Mumbai local train blasts shook the entire nation. A newly cropped up Jihadi group called Ahl-e-Hadith and its operatives, allegedly trained in Pakistan, carried out this attack as per the initial investigation by police. The then Congress Government that had repealed Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) was under the scanner and being questioned on its soft policies towards the Jihadi Terror. Suddenly, the cases were transferred to the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad, and within a few weeks time, a new theory called ‘Saffron Terror’ emerged. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi even allegedly conveyed to the then US Ambassador that Hindu extremism is a bigger threat than the Jihadi or Maoist terror in Bharat.
Since then a lot of debates and discussions have taken place about the validity of such a theory, and in the court of law, none of those cases could stand on shreds of evidence. Now it is widely believed that it was a concocted idea floated by the Congress party to cover up the failure to tackle the Jihadi Terror on the one hand and to target the Hindu nationalist forces on the other hand. Sadhvi Pragya was projected as a face of ‘Hindu Terror’ by the Congress, hence her emergence as a challenger to a person who most frequently used the Hindu Terror narrative is a shocker to many.
The original perpetrator Congress is in the most perplexing situation as the grand old party can neither defend the ‘Hindu-Terror’ narrative nor can openly apologise for the same in the election season. Especially when the Congress is trying to give up the old canard of ‘Secularism’, practised in terms of encouraging fundamentalism, and trying to reinvent itself as the votary of ‘Hinduism’ in the Muslim dominated area of ‘Mallapuram’ in Kerala, this move by the BJP has turned out to be the bone in the throat for Congress. Perhaps, there could not have been a better character to challenge Digvijaya Singh who proudly showcased the concocted version of terrorism and now trying to play a ‘Hindu’ card.
Sadhvi Pragya did not just stand against the systemic oppression of illegal detainment, brutal torture, inhuman treatment by any standards but she also fought against the fatal illness of cancer while facing the nine years of unbelievable horrors. She neither succumbed to the high-handed pressures nor gave away the ground to the fake narratives of Hindu Terror by justifying violence on any count. Political analysts and commentators who try to find justifications for defending Jihadi terrorism are especially rattled because of the moral courage and conviction about the Hindu heritage shown by the Hindu Sanyasin. Hence the rattled voices of so-called liberals who at times shameless stood by the convicted politicians like Lalu Prasad Yadav or even for the terrorists like Afzal Guru and Yakoob Menon.