We are yet to come out from the shock of the assassinations of Dr. Narendra Dabholkar and Com. Govind Pansare in 2013 and 2014 respectively, the Hindutva zealots have gunned down one more rationalist and renowned scholar in Dr Malleshappa Kalburgi, this time in neighboring Karnataka.
In Maharashtra, both the previous Congress and present BJP–Shivsena governments have amply demonstrated by their inaction in apprehending the murderers of Dabholkar and Pansare on whose side they stood and exposed their clandestine relations with the majority communalists. In Karnataka the Congress government is now on test to prove its secular mettle and erase the steins of communalism to some extent from the face of the Congress.
Dr Kalburgi was a Lingayat, the follower of the 12thcentury reformer Basavanna, who preached against castes and idolatry of Hinduism. It is irony of history that the Lingayats who are not supposed to be Hindus, today flaunt their mantle of Hindutva. They detested Kalburgi’s rationalist projection of Basava vachanas. Sadly they will find themselves on the side of the wickedest enemy of Basavanna, who have killed one of the best of his contemporary disciples.
Last year, the very zealots had attacked another illustrious son of Karnataka U R Ananthamurthy who was a co-traveller of Kalburgi in the same campaign for rational thought. Emboldened by the ascent of Narendra Modi, who had dubious distinction of demonstrating his law of ‘action and reaction’ with the carnage of over 2000 Muslims in Gujarat, to the throne of Delhi, these zealots have gone berserk killing people who speak against their venomous creed.
The modus operandi in all the three cases being exactly the same, associated with similar jubilation in the right wing camp, it should not be difficult for the Karnataka government to apprehend the culprits. It has already handed over the case to CBI, may be to assuage resentment of people. CBI or no CBI, however, it should not forget that people are interested in seeing the murderers of Kalburgi convicted for their crime in a reasonable time frame.
CPDR urges people of the country to stand up and speak out against this heinous trend of murderous intimidation of democratic polity.
Dr Anand Teltumbde
Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights (CPDR), Mumbai.