Social activist Agnivesh on Friday said terror accused Pragya Singh Thakur’s statement that former Mumbai Anti-Terrorist Squad chief Hemant Karkare died because she had cursed him had “insulted the martyrs” of the country.
Thakur, who is accused in the 2008 Malegaon blasts and is currently out on bail, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday and is the party’s candidate from Bhopal. Karkare had investigated the charges against Thakur in connection with the Malegaon blasts. He died in the November 26, 2008, Mumbai terror attack.
The BJP leader is facing charges under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and other sections of the Indian Penal Code. The Bombay High Court had granted bail to her in April 2017, noting that she had been in jail for more than eight years and was suffering from breast cancer. Medical reports submitted to the court showed that she was infirm and could not walk without support, the court had observed.
Agnivesh said Thakur’s statement proved that she was “devoid of any spiritual sensitivity” although she wears “vestments of a sadhvi”. He also criticised the BJP for choosing her as a candidate, saying she was only chosen because of her “ability to communalise the election”. “The BJP may tactically distance itself from Pragya’s malicious statement, but it cannot absolve itself of the responsibility for insulting the martyrs of this country by proxy,” he said in a statement.
Agnivesh said Thakur’s and Modi’s outlook were in sync. “The trait common to both is that those who are inconvenient to them must be either crushed or cursed out of existence.” Agnivesh said if Modi differed with Thakur’s sentiments, then he should not allow her to contest the elections.
Read Agnivesh’s full statement here:
SADHVI PRAGYA THAKUR’S STATEMENT MOST CONDEMNABLE
The statement of BJP Bhopal candidate, Pragya Thakur, maligning the cherished memory of Hemant Karkare, the martyr in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, deserves to be condemned by all Indians, irrespective of party affiliations. To claim that it was her curse that led to the untimely death of a brave police officer, who laid down his life in the line of duty, and for which he had been given highest civilian award (Ashok Chakra) in 2009. Proves that the lady may have the vestments of a sadhvi, but is wholly devoid of any spiritual sensitivity.
The selection of candidates by a party reveals its true nature and value system. The BJP did not choose Pragya for her spiritual finesse or political maturity, both of which lacks utterly. She has been chosen because of her ability to communalise the election. So, it should not be surprising that she is going about precisely doing that as best she knows. The BJP may tactically distance itself from Pragya’s malicious statement, but it cannot absolve itself of the responsibility for insulting the martyrs of this country by proxy.
Pragya’s game-plan in seeking to give a supernatural twist to the 26/11 terrorist attack, giving herself lethal supernatural powers – to curse somebody to death – is aimed at creating an aura around herself. The desperate need for this arises because she has nothing, absolutely nothing, to recommend herself to voters. She is pitted against a political veteran of proven merit and stature. The only way she can create a niche for herself is by playing up her supernatural credentials and by playing the familiar victim card. The gods are not only on her side, but also bound to do her bidding, irrespective of the malignancy of her disposition.
Pragya Thakur’s outlook is in sync with Modi’s. The trait common to both is that those who are inconvenient to them must be either crushed or cursed out of existence. So, while Modi seeks to eradicate the Congress from the face of the earth, Pragya has done one better: she has cursed her adversary to extinction. This mindset of extreme intolerance, rendered all the dangerous by mixing it up with religious sentiments, is harmful to the spirit of democracy. All citizens have to be mindful of this, and use the power of their votes to save India from the hands of such agents of pre-historic hate and intolerance.
The least that Modi should do, if he differs in sentiments from Pragya, is to remove her from the electoral fray and send a clear signal to the country at large that such statements and sentiments have no place in our democratic culture.