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An Open Letter on L’Affaire Antulay - Karkare To The Members of Indian Parliament

by Bal Patil, 2 February 2009

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As an independent observer of the Indian political scene and its ups and downs in the last four decades, and a journalist and an ex-Member of the Media Expert Committee of the Government of India I was simply stunned by the the frenzied debate in and out of Parliament and on the TV channels asking for the dismissal of A.R. Antulay for his observation that “there is more to it than meets the eye” in Hemant Karkare’s killing and that it should be investigated. To be frank. I could not make out what political or secular blasphemy Shri Antulay thereby committed.

The first and last principle of fair reporting is : comment is free but facts are sacred. Only a day before the 26/11 terrorist attack BJP leaders were calling ATS Chief Karkare a deshdrohi – a traitor- an offence which carries death penalty. Ironically the very same leaders were calling Shri A.R. Antulay a Deshdrohi, and worse, a Pakistani agent! I am merely putting the record straight.

Permit me to recall re: Karkare episode when you and your party Members were going into the well of the House and/or standing in your seats and I heard allegations hurled at Antulay of being not only anti-national but also being an agent of Pakistan and brother of Dawood. I was stunned at such patently false, mischievous and malicious allegations.

I would particularly like to draw your attention to the Awami Bharat Press

Conference held at Mumbai Marathi Patrakar Sangh on 20th December, http://www.countercurrents.org/awami211208.htm 2008 demanding a high level probe into the deaths of Shri Karkare, Shri Kamte and Shri Salaskar and supporting supporting the demand made by Shri A. R. Antulay and thanking him for having brought this issue to the centre stage of the national debate, and further that “the remarks by A. R. Antulay have stirred the latent doubts amongst all communities and the popular perception far differs from what the media would have us believe.”

India is at the crossroads of history when Pakistan is recklessly beating war drums and terrorists indubitably of the Pak origin created havoc of 26/11. When the UPA Government is seriously considering war-like options if Pakistan is persistently denying terrorist links, it would be suicidal to ignore the threat of internal sabotage posed by the indigenous terror linked with extremist organisations as revealed in the ATS investigation in Malegam blasts.

2. A section of the MPs and a large sections of media are outraged by Shri Antulay’s voicing a demand for investigation of Karkare’s killing. May I ask in all journalistic and secular conscience why every true Indian committed to the secular ideal of the Constitution should not feel outraged by the following interview in the Outlook Magazine dated November 17, 2008 with Himani Savarkar http://www.outlookindia.com/fullprint.asp?choice=2&fodname=20081117&fname=AHindu+Terror&sid=2 ’If We Can Have Bullet For Bullet, Why Not Blast For Blast?’

Smt.Himani Savarkar, the niece of Nathuram Godse, and daughter of Gopal Godse married to Veer Savarkar’s nephew, is the president of the Abhinav Bharat... Some members of this organisation have been linked to the Malegaon bomb attack of September 29. Himani spoke to Outlook Magazine (Nov.17, 2008) as follows:

Excerpts from the interview in the Outlook Magazine dated November 17, 2008

Question: What are the objectives of Abhinav Bharat?

“Our aim is to fight terror—spread awareness of who the real terrorists are and teach people how to oppose terrorism…. Since the government failed to act, there had to be a reaction. If what the police claim against Sadhvi Pragya Singh and the others is true, then it is just a reaction against the real terrorism....

Question: But is a blast-for-blast strategy the way to tackle terrorism?

“Didn’t Maharashtra deputy CM R.R. Patil say that we must reply with a bullet for a bullet? Then why can’t we have a blast for a blast? Sameer Kulkarni and the others are patriots who love their country. But the government is now trying to declare them guilty to weaken the Hindus. We have become a soft state...should we all wear bangles now? The government doesn’t want to fight terrorism. That’s why it will never take action against the Muslims. The police have cracked so many cases like the encounter in Delhi where Muslim terrorists were killed. But as soon as the police takes action, there are shouts for a judicial inquiry.

Question : How should India fight terrorism?

“We must declare ourselves a Hindu Rashtra where everyone is a Hindu. Anyone who isn’t should be declared a second-class citizen and denied voting rights. Those who have problems with this should leave and settle in other countries. The Hindu votebank must unite to vote out any government that fails to tackle terror. Then we must throw out the outsiders like Bangladeshis who live off India’s wealth and work towards destroying us.”

IS THIS NOT TREASONABLE IPSO FACTO? WHY NO ACTION IS BEING TAKEN?

This Outlook interview also reports “Lt Col Jayant Chitale, a retired air defence artillery officer who runs the Maharashtra Military Foundation (MMF). Chitale lives and operates out of a bungalow a few blocks from Purohit’s home off Law College Road, Pune. He says with some pride, "I have over 1,000 of my boys serving in the three services today. Each one has been brainwashed by me. They are motivated, determined and will do anything for the nation."

Interestingly, a visitor’s book that Chitale has carefully preserved for nearly two decades lists the names of all the young men who trained under him. An entry on February 20, 1993, lists a young Shrikant Prasad Purohit, residing on Law College Road, Pune. "He was a brilliant boy," says Chitale, "This Malegaon blast could be the reaction of years of frustration within the army over denial of their rights and prestige.The politicians and the bureaucrats continue to ignore the military at their own peril and these acts could just be the beginning."

Would it not be better to term the Malegam blasts accused as "Hindutva terrorists" in view of the clear ideological Hindutva and fascist geneology as revealed in their association with the RSS and the Bhonsla Military School established by Dr.Munje godfather of Dr.Hedgewar founder of the RSS . who modelled the BMS on Nazi Fascist model.

Inspiration for the RSS cadres and their paramilitary training was derived from Benito Mussolini’s fascist paramilitary groups, the Blackshirts, after RSS mentor and founder, BS Moonje visited the Italian dictator in 1931. As detailed in Marzia Casolari’s article, "Hindutva’s foreign tie-up in the 1930s: Archival evidence" (Economic and Political Weekly, January 22, 2000):

"To understand militant Hinduism, one must examine its domestic roots as well as foreign influence. In the 1930s Hindu nationalism borrowed from European fascism to transform ‘different’ people into ‘enemies’. Leaders of militant Hinduism repeatedly expressed their admiration for authoritarian leaders such as Mussolini and Hitler ..."

It is not only naive but also sheer deception to claim as Mr.Advani does that the RSS does not believe in violence or that Nathuram Godse dissociated himself from the RSS. The ideological connection between Sawarkar, Hindutva, RSS, and the bomb-culture as exhibited in Malegam-type bomb blasts is as infaliible as the DNA test and can be traced back to Sawarkar’s student days in London .The BJP leadership cannot idolise Sawarkar by committing the ultimate affront to Mahatma Gandhi by placing Sawarkar’s portrait opposite that of Gandhi in the Parliament House and claim with a straight face that RSS does not believe in violence and Hinduism does not preach violence.

The ‘Hindutva’ terrorism is no stranger to bomb culture. RSS - BMS - Abhinav Bharat are explicitly rooted in fascist ideology. And Nathuram Godse was not unacquanited with the bomb culture before he actually murdered Mahatma Gandhi on 30th January, 1948. Madanlal Pahwa, a refugee threw a bomb at Gandhi’s prayer meeting on 20th January, 1948 and his statement before the police had given the names of the conspiracy afoot to assassinate Gandhi.

The fact is that before the actual assassination in 1948 there were several attempts on Gandhiji’s life from 1934. The first was when Mahatma Gandhi was engaged in a nationwide tour against untouchability he went to Poona on 19th June 1934. On 25th June 1934 he was targetted with a bomb by the Hindutva fundamentalists. There was no question then either of the partition of the country or the 55 crores to be given to Pakistan. The incident of this bomb attack is mentioned by Pyarelal in his Last Phase Part II . Even more detailed information is given in D.G. Tendulkar’s Mahatma Part III. A bomb was thrown at Gandhi on 25th June 1934 when he was going to Pune Municipality conference hall to give his talk . In this bomb attack the chief executive of the municipality along with two police constables were seriously injured. Mahatma Gandhi escaped just because he was in the car behind. Pyarelal says the attack was well planned. The photos of Nehru and other congress leaders were found in the shoes of the attackers which means that the culprits were arrested. Thus before the bomb attack by Madanlal on January 20 1948 there was an earlier bomb attack. Most of the newspapers of the day published reports stating that the bomb attack was to kill Mahatma Gandhi.

Even more significant was another attempt on Gandhi’s life at Matheran in 1944 when Nathuram was arrested when trying to assault Gandhiji with a sharp weapon at Panchgani near Pune as testified by Manishanker Purohit, the proprietor of the Surti Lodge in Pune before the Kapur Commission . It is pertinent to note in this context that Pyarelal testified before the Kapur Commission that the RSS had infiltrated in the police force.

Even more shocking is the glorification of Nathuram Godse the murderer of Mahatma Gandhi. I am also seriously concerned to draw attention of the Honourable Members of the House to the following newsitem in the Hindustan Times dated 30th December, 2008 captioned: CALENDER DEDICATED TO GANDHI’S ASSASSIN . The newsitem states that “nearly 60 years after Nathuram Godse was hanged for the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, his ideas have come alive on a calendar dedicated to him.

I WOULD LIKE TO POSE A QUESTION IN ALL SECULAR CONSCIENCE WHY SUCH BLATANT GLORIFICATION OF THE MURDERER OF THE FATHER OF THE NATION SHOULD NOT BE CONDEMNABLE AND LEGALLY ACTIONABLE?

Wishing you a Happy and Peaceful New Year!

BAL PATIL