Nation

Sanatan Sanstha for setting up of Hindu theocratic state, calls for use of violence

September 02, 2018 01:15 PM
Sanatan Sanstha headquarter

For Sanatan Sanstha, all’s fair in the war for a Hindu Rashtra

Alok Deshpande Gautam S Mengle

The Sanatan Sanstha, which advocates the setting up of a theocratic state, has called for the use of violence against those it considers obstacles.

“A third world war will take place between 2016 and 2018, marking the beginning of an end of anti-socials...Training to set up a “God’s kingdom” will continue from 2019 to 2022 and a Hindu Rashtra will be set up by 2023.”

These are not predictions from Nostradamus or a neighbourhood astrologer. This is the time table for the nation drawn up by Sanatan Sanstha, an extreme right-wing Hindu organisation, headed by Dr. Jayant Athawale.

Investigations into Dabholkar’s murder revealed that the Sanatan Sanstha’s publications have been openly telling its members that violence against durjan (evil persons) is not actually violence at all. The Sanstha’s book Kshatrabharma (Religion of Kshatriyas) gives a detailed plan of action against such durjan and their kin. “Instead of breaking one branch, if you cut the trunk, all branches will be dead,” the books states.

The outfit is under investigation for its role in the 2013 murder of rationalist Narendra Dhabolkar and more recently by the Maharashtra Anti-terrorism Squad (ATS) following the seizure of arms and crude bombs earlier this month.

Set up by a doctor couple — Jayant and Kunda Athawale — the Sanstha claims to be working towards the formation of a “Hindu Rashtra” since 1995. The outfit began with a focus on three States — Goa, Maharashtra and Karnataka. Known for its secretive style of functioning, entry into its ashrams is strictly by invitation only.

Members of Sanatan Sanstha protest in Mumbai

The Sanstha’s mouthpiece, Sanatan Prabhat, however, ensures that its followers know their enemies. Almost all political parties are termed opponents. The minorities, especially Christians and Muslims, are called the biggest obstacle in the formation of a Hindu Rahstra. The police are not spared either. An article published in the June 9, 2013 issue of the daily says: “We cannot build a Hindu Rashtra without defeating police and the military.”

Investigations into Dabholkar’s murder revealed that the Sanatan Sanstha’s publications have been openly telling its members that violence against durjan (evil persons) is not actually violence at all.

The Sanstha’s book Kshatrabharma (Religion of Kshatriyas) gives a detailed plan of action against such durjan and their kin. “Instead of breaking one branch, if you cut the trunk, all branches will be dead,” the books states.

“If possible, try to stop these people by convincing them; but if that is not possible, then they should be punished,” it adds

The book goes on to explain the need for imparting military training, including with fire arms, to members of the Sanstha. “If one fires the bullet while praying, it hits the aim. Arjuna used to pray to Shri Krishna while aiming with his arrow, hence he was the best archer,” explains the book.

Advocating an armed battle, the publication says Chhatrapati Shivaji did not set up the kingdom by winning elections. “We also have to build the Hindu Rashtra on the same path of battle,” it says.

A passage in the book asserts that the outfit will eliminate 5% of the durjan in the society by turning 10% of the population into its followers. 

According to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is probing the murder Dr. Dabholkar, e-mails traced to the computer at the residence of one of the arrested accused, Virendra Tawde, speak of building an army of 15,000 members. Dr. Tawde is a member of Hindu Janjagruti Samiti and Sanatan Sanstha. Amid claims that a section of police officers is involved with the outfit, the Kshatrabharma says: “The most infamous police department has 5% of our members. They will help us from inside.”

As per the timetable published in the Sanatan Prabhat’s June 9, 2013 edition, the years between 1999 and 2012 were meant to prepare people’s mind for the elimination of durjan. During 2013-15, a physical, psychological and spiritual battle was to waged against these evil people. A third world war, natural calamities and elimination of durjan are supposed to take place between 2016 and 2018.

Thereafter, training for the functioning of a divine kingdom will take place from 2019-2022. Year 2023 is when the said kingdom will be established, the publication said.

While Dr. Athawale is seen as an incarnation of God by his followers, they are quick to point out that he has never made any such claim. Interestingly, he has not been in public for several years now.

A recent demand from the Leader of the Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil for a probe into Dr Athawale’s activities following the recovery of the arms cache, was dismissed by Sanstha spokesperson Chetan Rajhans, who said the 'paratpar guru' was busy in sadhana (meditation). Mr Rajhans added that his disciples were capable of answering any question.

Under investigation for its alleged involvement in the murder of three noted rationalists and one journalist — Narendra Dhabolkar (2013), Govind Pansare (2015), M.M. Kalburi (2015) and Gauri Lankesh (2017) — the Sanstha has always advocated the need to oppose ‘thinkers’. An article in Sanatan Prabhat for instance says: “It’s a crusade. Revolutionary battle is inevitable to set up Hindu Rashtra. You will claim heaven if you die in this crusade and if you win, you will win the Earth.”Sanatan Sanstha national spokesperson Chetan Rajhans demanded an ‘unbiased probe’ in the murder of Gauri Lankesh.

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