What Terror-Accused Sadhvi Pragya’s Candidature Means for India

After the election held of 2019 and things settle down than a number of lows will have to be counted,…

What Terror-Accused Pragya Singh Thakur’s Candidature Means for India
What Terror-Accused Pragya Singh Thakur’s Candidature Means for India

After the election held of 2019 and things settle down than a number of lows will have to be counted, and the lowest among them would be the candidate of India’s largest and dominant political party, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), to contest from Bhopal: Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur.

Sadhvi is a self-confessed ascetic woman always carry a dress in saffron, she would like to cut a saintly figure taking on the Congress stalwart and former chief minister Digvijay Singh on his home turf – but she is a terror-accused out on bail.

The Truth About ‘Sadhvi’ Pragya

She was just accused and has been acquitted by NIA and everyone knows she was framed.The bjps’s decision to field 2008 malegaon blast case accused sadhvi from Bhopal has led to a maelstrom of controversy on social media. While many have hit out at the BJP for nominating a terror accused. Thakur, the prime accused in the case, was arrested in October that year, and has been out on bail since April 2017 on grounds of ill health.

The fact is that sadhvi is currently facing trial under various sections of unlawful activities prevention act. The court had dropped charges under Maharashtra control of organised crime act against all the accused in the Malegaon blasts case, including sadhvipragya.

Nominating a terror-accused as a potential law-maker is something hilariouis to hear; the BJP which once said and boasted of itself as a “clean and principled” alternative to the “corrupt and criminal” Congress should give her candidature, is indeed ironical.

The sangh felt that making her a contestant against congress’s Digvijay Singh would be a befitting reply to the congress for coining the term saffron terror to not just which hunt the Sangh but also insult Hindu in general.

In the Modi-Shah Era, the ‘Fringe’ Has Become the Core

Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur is a post-graduate in history. She worked for ABVP and Durga Vahini – which is a Hindu extremist group for women. Without getting too far into the details of Durga Vahini, they have military combat training for young girls and, simply put, promote Hindu supremacy.

Sadhvi Pragya became a known face overnight when she got arrested by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad in a blast case where six people got killed and 100 got injured near a mosque in Malegaon in 2008. She was charged under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act or MCOCA

Hemant Karkare, who was investigating this case, traced the blast to Sadhvi’s motorcycle where the explosives were found, and that’s how she came into the picture. There were confessions, interceptions of conversations proving Sadhvi’s role, and also hints that this was a conspiracy to retaliate against jihadist attacks.

The investigation was shifted to NIA in 2011, and what do you think happened? Long story short, in 2016, they say the initial investigation was fudged – they dropped all charges under MCOCA. Consequently, she got of jail in 2017, but she’s facing trial under charges of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

And now she’s facing Congress’ Digvijay Singh from Bhopal – where the BJP seldom loses. But there’s a keyword in this fight — Hindu terror. This term has been used to describe acts of violence motivated by Hindu nationalism. Chidambaram has used it, and some other Congress leaders also used it. The BJP, in turn, has accused the Congress of defaming Hindus and India. “Hindu terror” or not, there are cases of violence that have been done in the name of Hindu nationalism, like the Samjhauta express, the Ajmer Dargah, the Mecca Masjid Blast, and more recently, lynchings.

Should a Possible Terrorist Even Represent People in the August House?

Terrorism is a serious charge even if you have not been convicted for it. The fact of the matter is that the courts refused to let the 2008 Malegaon blasts accused Pragya Thakur off the hook. Her motorcycle was allegedly used to transport explosives and for a blast that killed six people. It is not enough for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to put out the narrative that the “Sadhvi” was implicated by an overzealous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) keen on coining the adage of ‘saffron terror.’

The BJP has many uncomfortable questions to answer for why it got a terror suspect to join the ranks of the party overnight. The party might think it was a political masterstroke to field her against the Congress’s Digvijaya Singh in Bhopal, but what stands out instead is the fact that the ruling party is unwilling to pay heed to terror charges. They proceed against her if she gets elected and finds a seat in the august house of Parliamentarians?

What, indeed, do the BJP leaders have to say to her now that she believes she cursed Hemant Karkare to death? Karkare was the head of Maharashtra’s anti-terrorism squad and was probing charges against her. He was shot dead in Mumbai in 2008 by Ajmal Kasab, one of ten terrorists, who held India’s financial nerve centre to ransom for close to 72 hours.

The ruling party, led by its two stalwarts – Narendra Modi and Amit Shah – are running the fight for 2019’s big electoral battle on the issue of nationalism and in the name of the 40 Central Reserve Police Force troopers who were killed in a deadly blast in Kashmir’s Pulwama in February.“India first, self last” is what BJP leaders never tire of saying. How is Thakur’s entry into the electoral fray in India’s interest? Former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti, is not wrong when she says, “Imagine the anger if I’d fielded a terror accused. Channels would’ve gone berserk by now trending a mehboobaterrorist hashtag! According to these guys terror has no religion when it comes to saffron fanatics but otherwise all Muslims are terrorists. Guilty until proven innocent.”

There are some who believe Pragya Thakur is innocent until proven guilty but many would differ with that view. At the end of the day, she is a terror suspect and if she is so politically valuable, the BJP could have waited for the court case to conclude. It is not only the “liberals” (this one has been coined by the right-wing as an insult) who are gobsmacked by Thakur’s political debut. Her calling Karkare an “anti-national” who died because she cursed him is a bit too much for many to stomach.