The right-wing outfit’s mouthpiece says those who die in this ‘crusade’ will ‘go to heaven’
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. No, it’s not Nostradamus. This is the time table drawn up by Sanatan Sanstha, an extreme right-wing Hindu organisation headed by Dr. Jayant Athawale.
The Sanstha is under the scanner after one of its full-time activists — Samir Gaikwad — was arrested by Maharashtra Police for his alleged role in the murder of social activist Govind Pansare.
Formed by a doctor couple — Jayant and Kunda Athawale — the Sanstha claims to be working towards formation of Hindu Rashtra since 1995. It began with concentration on three States — Goa, Maharashtra and Karnataka.
Sanstha’s daily Sanatan Prabhat ensures that the followers know their enemies. Almost all political parties are termed opponents. The minorities, especially Christians and Muslims, are called the biggest obstacle. Even police authorities are not spared. An article published in the June 9, 2013 issue said: “We cannot build a Hindu Rashtra without defeating police and the military.”Known for its secretive functioning, entry in its ashrams is strictly by invitation. “We are an open organisation,” Sanstha’s managing trustee Virendra Marathe told The Hindu, after denying this newspaper entry inside the headquarters in Goa’s Ramnathi village.
Dr. Athawale is seen as an incarnation of God himself by his followers. “ He never claimed to be God, but sadhaks believe he is,” said Mr. Marathe.
Being probed for the alleged involvement in murders of three noted rationalists, the Sanstha has always been advocating the need to oppose the ‘thinkers.’One of the articles in its publication 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.”
Professing the armed battle to build Hindu Rashtra, the Sanstha publication says that 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 said.
Despite being one-time close associate and co-author with Mr. Athawale of Sanstha’s earlier books, Dr. Ashutosh Prabhudesai, a psychiatrist by profession, has eft this ‘cult.’ When The Hindu contacted him over the phone seeking an audience, his wife turned down the request.
Accusing Mr. Athawale of interfering in his marital life and influencing his first wife to divorce him, Dr. Prabhudesai had filed an affidavit in the local court in Panaji in 2009. In that, he had claimed that his wife was under the indoctrination of Dr. Athawale which is a psychiatric phenomenon due to which the mind of the follower is controlled by the chief of the cult.
He is not the only person to make this accusation. Vijay Rokade, a resident of Khopoli, approached the Bombay High Court in December 2011 against the Sanstha with similar claims. His wife had refused to come back to him after joining Sanstha’s ashram at Panvel in Maharashtra. Mr. Rokade’s claim was consolidated after four other families with similar complaints joined him. Women from those families have also refused to return to their home after joining the Sanstha. The petition is pending in the High Court.