BRAND GOA IN DANGER

The Konkani Basha Mandal, activists and many leading writers have all called for a ban on the Sanatan Sanstha. Here we reproduce the former head of the Goa Higher Secondary Board, PRABHAKAR TIMBLE’s, hard hitting criticism of the Sanatan Sanstha at Ponda and the Goa government’s attitude of burying it’s head in the sand

The preliminary reports of the SIT investigating the murders of Gauri Lankesh and other social activists, indicate that the main handlers in the plot are active members of the Hindutva organisation with headquarters at Goa. The Intelligence Bureau reports also tilt in the same direction.
It’s a paradox that Goa known to the rest of the country and the world as a storehouse of liberal thought and heaven of peace and harmony houses a factory which indoctrinates hate and trains Hindus to murder Hindu intellectuals, public thinkers, social activists and reformers. It is also a contradiction that the command centre of this Hindu terror organisation is in the pious and religious Ponda taluka of Goa which houses a galaxy of Hindu temples.
The indoctrinated and trained soldiers of this organisation opened their account with the murder of the social activist and crusader of blind faith, Dr Narendra Dabholkar.
Emboldened at the weakness of our investigating agencies, they were quick to murder Prof Kalburgi and Comrade Govind Pansare. It is now known that the organisation has prepared and planned to murder Hindu intellectuals who through their creative pursuits work for social reforms and spread the vision of democracy, free thought and scientific temper as enshrined in the Indian Constitution.
With incidents of lynching by ‘gaurakshaks’ on the rise and the right-wing fringe elements getting patronage of politicians owing allegiance to the ruling political party, the Hindutva organisations are out to exploit the situation to propagate their regressive agenda by all means, unfair and foul.
Saviours or murderers?
Hindutva organisations are well known for spreading mistrust between Hindus and other communities. They make no qualms about their demand for a Hindu Rashtra.
Through their media organs they propagate thought bordering on lies and falsehood. If any organisation treats science, scientific thought and scientific attitude with utter disdain and contempt, Hindutva organisations would emerge on the top. Their propaganda spreads public hatred and their teachings and writings are intended to disturb social harmony and peace in society.
A few, turning militant, providing combat training and also indoctrinating their flock who later find lynching, assault, murder as normal and acceptable to restore the pride and power of Hindus. Under guise of spiritualism and guardians of Hindus, they are known to control the minds of ‘sadhaks and ‘sewaks’ keeping them under a magic charm. They are bold worshippers of blind faith (andhashradddha) and spread it armed with the modern tools of communication.
These masters of hate and murders are unapologetic. They do it planned and in cold blood. They corrupt Hindus and Hindu religion. They flood the clean flowing waters of Hindu religion with toxic and harmful substances. They consider themselves to be saviours of Hindus, Hinduism and Hindustan. It is a matter of shame and concern that such organisations gets support of politicians and greetings from ministers.
Dare not speak or write
Pulling their critics, and more specifically journalists, for defamation is a part of the strategy of these devilish organisations. Sanatan would be one of the major shareholder of litigation in Goa and Maharashtra in area of defamation.
They have in their armoury lawyers who tirelessly work to protect ‘sadhaks’ who are caught in various blast or murder cases and try to intimidate journalists and critics through a large number of defamation suits.
The service of these lawyers in the courtrooms is the reverence (sadhana) for the Guru. This is the important weapon of what they consider as their ‘spiritual mission’. Most of the social activists and renowned personalities working against ‘andhashradha’, superstitions, and superstitious beliefs have defamation cases against them. This is the way to make the life of social activists and reformers miserable and keep them under pressure and threat. They will file civil suits, criminal cases on same issues at different locations. The ‘sadhaks” are known to intimidate lawyers who represent journalists, editors, newspapers and social activists.
In most instances, the Courts have dismissed cases filed against activists and journalists stating that there is nothing defamatory found in writings as it is the privilege and duty of the journalists and social reformers to bring truth to the notice of the society. Courts have also passed strictures for defamatory cases on flimsy grounds.
But, finally nothing will deter this organised criminal gang in spiritual clothing. It is their well thought out strategy. It is a tactic which they have adopted to stay in the limelight and also pre-empt more strikes from journalists, activists and the progressive elements in the civil society.
This had to happen
The Chief Minister of Goa confirmed on the floor of the Assembly that there is threat to life of Damodar Mauzo, writer and social activist, but declined to probe the Hindutva organisation.
Chief Minister, this is not a development in a day. It’s organised crime and planned attempt to murder with devoted ‘sadhakas’ on remote control. Sir, we cannot afford murders on the street of our writers, public thinkers and creative minds. These are more important issues for us than infrastructure and restart of mining. We know all the 40 MLAs will make praiseworthy condolence speeches on the floor of the Assembly and the Speaker will grant approval to move the motion of condolence.
CM, you need to speak now and take on record the views and suggestions of the 40 MLAs. This is critical for Goa which stands for free, liberal thought and diverse culture. The issue here is not the life of our beloved Mauzo. It’s about Goa’s DNA. It is ‘Brand Goa’ which is at stake.
Sir, you take pride in the surgical strikes during your short tenure as Defence Minister of India. We expect you to do a corrective surgery at Ponda.

SAHITYA AKEDEMI SPEAKS OUT

In a major development that has averted a possible return of the 2015 awardwapsi protest, the Sahitya Akademi has vociferously expressed solidarity with writers after at least 26 heavyweight authors urged India’s National Academy of Letters to condemn repeated ongoing threats to Goa’s award winning writer Damodar Mauzo and Malayalam novelist S. Hareesh.
“I must make it clear that the Akademi condemns all attacks against writers and I am saddened by the news of Mauzo and Hareesh. I condemn these threats in strongest of words,” Sahitya Akademi President Chandrashekhar Kambar told IANS over telephone from Bangalore. The 81-year-old said that he will be writing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and draw his attention to the “pressures and attacks” writers like Hareesh are facing. I am also trying to speak to the concerned minister (Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma) but he is not available,” he said. “The Akademi is meant to uphold free speech and I will not hesitate. I will talk,” Kambar asserted. On being reminded that the same body took as many as 54 days to publicly condemn the killings of rational thinkers and writers M.M. Kalburgi, Govind Pansare and Narendra Dabholkar that had triggered massive protests by writers bringing the Akademi to a standstill in 2015, Kambar said that the past should be left behind as the Akademi was on the cusp of revival. “Forget the past, we are doing everything in our capacity and we have taken a stand already, that we condemn these attacks against S. Hareesh and Damodar Mauzo,” he said. In an official statement released Thursday afternoon, the Akademi reiterated that it “condemns all attacks on writers, thinkers and poets, not only in India but all over the world”. It said that the Akademi received “the news of threat” to writers with “great pain”. “Sahitya Akademi strongly condemns these attacks and stand behind the writers’ community of India,” read the one-paragraph press statement from the Sahitya Akademi, signed by Kambar.
A collegium of heavyweight and multiple award winning writers such as Nayantara Sahgal, Keki Daruwalla, K. Satchidanandan, Ritu Menon, Jerry Pinto and Meena Alexander, among several others, had written to the Akademi under the banner of Indian Writers’ Forum, urging it to condemn such instances. The writers’ forum pointed out that the Akademi had failed to take a “bold, public stand” in 2015. “We hope this would not happen in your dispensation and that this big literary institution will take a brave stand now,” the letter read. Reacting to Akademi’s statement, writer and poet Keki Daruwalla, who had returned his Sahitya Akademi award in 2015 and was among the writers who urged the Akademi to condemn threats on Wednesday, said that it was “excellent news”. “I am happy that the same scenario (like 2015) has not been repeated. We have done our part and I complement the Akademi for having spoken out, and particularly Mr Kambar, for taking immediate cognisance of the matter, instead of sitting silent like the Akademi did in 2015,” Daruwalla told IANS.
In the meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Thursday said that the culture of banning books impacts the free flow of ideas and should not be taken recourse to unless they are hit by Section 292 of the IPC that prohibits obscenity. A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud reserved its order on a plea seeking to omit certain excerpts from “Meesha” by Hareesh. “You are giving undue importance to this kind of stuff. In the age of Internet, you are making this an issue. It is best forgotten,” said Justice Chandrachud.
Mauzo has been provided police security following threats to his life in view of revelations made by those arrested in the murder case of activist-journalist Gauri Lankesh in Bengaluru. The award-winning Konkani writer and progressive thinker Mauzo had earlier confirmed to IANS that round-the-clock security was provided to him after he was informed by a central intelligence agency about threat to his life.

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