With Maharashtra’s secular fabric ripped by the murders of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar and Communist leader Govind Pansare, noted activist-writer Dr. Bharat Patankar on Tuesday revealed that he too had received death threats in the form of hate letters.
The letters accused Dr. Patankar of adopting ‘a conciliatory attitude’ towards Muslims and castigated him for accepting the leadership of the ‘Vidrohi Sammelan’ – an alternative cultural forum in the State running parallel to the Sahitya Sammelan.
Dr. Patankar is currently the president of the Shramik Mukti Dal (Toilers’ Liberation league), an organisation striving for the uplift of workers. One of the threat letters, postmarked Kolhapur, that was delivered on on Monday was accompanied by an issue of chauvinist-nationalist periodical Sanatan Prabhat , Dr. Patankar said in Sangli.
“I had previously received letters warning me not to go the Dabholkar-Pansare way. The recent letters said after Dr. Dabholkar and Comrade Pansare, it would be my turn next,” Dr. Patankar said.
“The letters said that after Dabholkar & Pansare, it would be my turn next”
r. Bharat Patankar is a leading activist of the left wing Shramik Mukti Dal and of the peasant movement (especially the dam-oustees and drought affected) in South Maharashtra. Bharat Patankar is an activist intellectual who has worked for almost 30 years in movements of workers, farmers, agricultural labourers, and radical anti-caste cultural movements. He is also one of the architects of equitable water distribution movement in Maharashtra.