Deathdom and Sanatan Sanstha

The Sanstha which talks about devotism and salivation not only is the latest potboiler in the political dispensation, but also is the craved political ammunition in a highly segregationist society. The cause of concern lies in the height of defiance which Sanjeev Punalekar’s organisation has got used to. Extremism has never had a panacea, and violence had never had too many friends. But still the stance taken by the Shiv Sena in the entire issue is strong enough to stroke communal passions on a heighted scale. As the Ganpati celebrations are in full swing and the triumph over fortune over misfortune the taste of the season, in the legal and news spectrum the troika of Pansare-Dabholkar-Kalburga is making the maximum noise. The reaction of the so called organisation which represents the Sanatan Dharma forgets the idea of tolerance that its ideal preaches. Rather, their jingoism on television leaves little doubt on even a limited brain, the atrocities and violence they are capable of.

But what appears really disturbing to me readers, is the reaction of the left of centre, centre as well as the pro rightist political parties. Dabholkar’s death, Pansare’s death as well as Kalburgi’s death is being said is related to the same operative process. Fine enough. But what was the police doing as the three rationalists were drawn to the drains of absolute high handedness from the sides of the fringe? Is it just a collateral hypocrisy that both the Congress and the BJP led governments had only sat on the files thinking they are golden platters of honour? The Communst Party in Maharashtra has an antiqued past with leaders including Krishna Desai and Sripad Amrita Dange. The Shiv Sainiks played a barbarous role in eliminating a city which adorned red as the colour of the behemoth of workers in the financial capital. Of course Vasantrao Naik had a particular involvement. The extremist Krishna Desai wanted to counter the militant Shiv Sena through military means but was unsuccessful. Desai was killed in the late 1960s. With Desai’s death, Communism of Maharashtra drowned itself into oblivion.

But still in pockets and nooks, the party has been able to exert considerable influence. And people like Pansare had only occupied that jotting place commanding respect from a significant section. The Week, I remember actually published a report on chances of fringe attack on the 80+ politician of Maharashtra last year. Govind Pansare had showed signs of irreverence and even deference to the threats. Perhaps for his life diminution of self-respect was a better option. In a July issue of the same weekly, the question over Pansare’s death was raised again, and the report even cast aspersions of the transfer of Pansare from his home town Kolhapur to Mumbai. Abnormal decisions were also suggested of in the entire course of events. Same goes with Narendra Dabholkar’s death. Though the act against black magic was passed by the Maharashtra legislature to support his cause, nothing did the previous or the current regime do to oppose his killing in broad daylight.

But this is not about one ideology versus another. Rather it is about the ideology of coexistence pitted against the idea of intolerance. When, you see the Congress and the NCP spokesmen trying to obfuscate from the issue of implementation of ban against Sanatan Sanstha, you can well understand the so called NO. 1 IDEOLOGY whose main aim has always been to balance upper caste, Dalit and minority votebanks. The names of journalists like Nikhil weagle coming to the fore only shows how patronising can be an organisation which very much like Hardik Patel claims to be the sole policeman of respective communities.

Author’s crisp thought: And when hate is flowing to and fro in microblogging sites and bruise behaviour to journalists like Rajdeep Sardesai more an everyday norm, you can compare the intensity of threats and violence, what you cannot compensate is the idea of intolerance rampant in the society which does not form a place for an alternative view, lest aside a dissenting voice. However, as a ray of hope, the Fadnavis Government now has arrested Sameer Gaekward who has been heard on phone calls planning the next hunt. Rudra Patil, another suspect was on the other side of the phone. The police are now searching for him and Sarang Akolkar. Nikhil Wagle, senior journo has alleged of continuous threats from the Sanstha goons. Whether, the blast accused Sanstha is banned or not will be an issue of an objective cause. Let’s see what happens.


Ban, Religion and Inequality

As #bantheban banters the intelligentsia, the cause of pluralism and the idea of secularism faces quite an uphill task. On one hand, there is resilience, on the other hand there is resistance. The kind of secularism practised by the left of central ideology in the country portrayed a questionable dent in front of the world. The Shah Bano Case proved how temporary political interests can contradict the interests of the nation. The Congress Party played an important role in justifying its vote bank in the most populated state- consisting of Muslims, Dalits and the poor. Hence, people who today blame the Bharatiya Janata Party for all the woes and partisanship must look back and think about the intolerance that has had quite a lengthy history. In India in the past one year, communal tensions have increased- says the PMO report. Well, it will be extremely hard for the Prime Minister to disregard a report prepared under his sub control. But if we tend to talk about decentralisation of administrative power between the Union and the states- then law and order falls within the state list. And with 50% of the states being non BJP, can the Congress and the regional parties shed off their bit of responsibility in maintaining communal harmony? I see not.

Yes, there is a Hindu right and I must say an aggressive one in the Internet and Social media. Most of their views centre around a particular political figure attacking whom can bring you a respite from civility. But isn’t such a feeling born out of years of burning discontent and years of impeccable impression of a party entrenched excessively in two things- worshipping a specific dynasty and beholding multi-partisan politics of division more than cohesion. See for example the Entry of Asaduddin Owaisi and his AIMIM. I don’t want to crunch my word space by mentioning the party’s full name-but his choice of Seemanchal not only smacks of Muslim centred politics but also of opportunism and self-serve sanatorium. In the AAJ TAK PANCHAYAT, in Patna the Owaisi senior did not digest any qualms while confessing that he was not running an NGO, but a political party. The most vocal opponent of the entry of the Muslim centred party seems to be the party of C.P Joshi who already are hands in gloves with another Muslim constituency based political organisation called the Muslim league. Coming to the cause of the ban and its aftershocks, it is deeply astonishing how the mainstream media failed to excavate the meat ban brought about by the previous Congress Governments in Maharashtra. So, is there a sense of social untouchability attributed to the world’s largest political party? And how is it, that as such a state controlled ban is actually taking place in the financial capital in the country, that the mainstream media has no air space about it.

The statement of Mumbai Congress Chief, Sanjay Nirupam on NDTV was not only surprising, but inherently juvenile. On a question posed by Barkha Dutt, why is the Congress making such a hue and cry over an issue, it is itself responsible for, the “misogynist” leader says, “If the Congress had started a stupid occasion, why should the BJP continue it?” I sincerely hope, he is able to save his chair after calling his party by that name. And such is the theatre of the absurd nowadays, that even Shiv Sena has started to brand the business friendly prosperous Jains as “terrorists”. The continuity of the political system is an essential task, so is the need to come out of the veils of food, good or digital censorship. Bans from time immemorial have not served any right purpose.

Saif Ali Khan was correct enough to say, by imposing a ban on Phantom, the Pakistan Government has made it all the more important for ordinary Pakistanis to watch the film on pirated DVDs. The number of people who saw India’s Daughter exceeded twice the number that would have actually seen the documentary on the official broadcaster. Bans pave way to inequality at times, and on many an instance, inequality and visible partisanship brings about invisible bans. It is time to fight both, rather than injecting and inflicting suspicion and mistrust….