September 29, 2015

India: Sanatan Sanstha - an Interview with Shyamal Datta, former director at IB

The Everyday Goan - 29th September 2015

Sanatan Sanstha under scanner

Former Director of the Intelligence Bureau, Govt of India, and former head of the NSG (National Security Guard), Ex-Governor of Nagaland and leading internal security expert SHYAMAL DATTA answers questions posed by the rise of the Sanatan Sanstha in the context of religious mobilisation across the board exclusively for THE GOAN

The 25 year-old Sanatan Sanstha (SS), a Hindu fundamentalist organisation based in Goa, has come under cloud. One of its ‘Sadhaks’ Sameer Gaikwad has been arrested for his alleged involvement in the murder of Govind Pansare
(Kohlapur, Feb 20, 2015), a CPI leader. The Shiv Sena led by Udhav Thackarey has described Pansare as a “dharma virodhi”. The Kolahpur Court remanded Gaikwad to police custody. It will be interesting to watch if the investigating agencies would try to explore linkages of this arrest with the other two murders of Narendra Dabolkar (August 20, 2013, Pune), a rationalist, and MM Kalburgi, former VC of Kannad University, Hampi (August 30, 2015, Dharwad), opposed to idol worship, superstitious practices etc.
Earlier, SS activists had been arrested in incidents of explosion at Navi Mumbai (Feb 20 and May 31’ 08) before a cinema hall, and parking lot during the screening of the film Jodha Akbar, and on June 4, 2008 in front of an auditorium, during the show of a Marathi drama. The ATS, Maharashtra Police arrested and filed chargesheet against six activists and the Sessions Court convicted four of them to 10 years’ rigorous imprisonment while acquitting the remaining two. Later in 2009, two ‘Sadhaks’ died in an accidental explosion while carrying explosives on a scooter at Margao, during the ‘Narakasur’ celebrations in Goa.
Stray incidents of violence apart, the focus of the SS has been on propaganda of its philosophy and objectives through ‘satsangs’ and periodicals among sections of Hindu community in Maharashtra and Goa and to a much lesser extent, in Karnataka. At its 4th All India Hindu Convention (Goa, June 11-17, 2015), the SS called upon Hindu organisations to rally for a “Dharmakranti” as a prelude to the establishment of “Hindu Rashtra” in the country by 2023 in its quest of reinstating ‘the divine kingdom’ and the mission of ‘building one nation one identity’. The Convention set an ambitious target of enrolling 5 lakh members under its banner, in next 4-5 years.
If the organisational growth of the SS (2000-2500) in past quarter of a century, is any guide, its prospect at both regional and national levels, looks rather bleak. Its footprints are yet to be visible in real sense beyond Goa and confined to only parts of Maharashtra. However, the emergence of the BJP at the Centre has infused energy and confidence among its activists though there is nothing to suggest any umbilical links between the two. The SS has also denied having any truck with the Hindu organisations in the country. Overtly also, a connect between the SS on the one hand, and any of the organisations affiliated to the RSS on the other, has been conspicuously invisible, despite striking commonalities in the path pursed by the two separately.
- See more at: http://englishnews.thegoan.net/story.php?id=4574