Home > 2019 > Curse! "Maine kaha tera (Mumbai ATS chief late Hemant Karkare) sarvanash (...)

Mainstream, VOL LVII No 22 New Delhi May 18, 2019

Curse! "Maine kaha tera (Mumbai ATS chief late Hemant Karkare) sarvanash hoga”

Sunday 19 May 2019, by A K Biswas

“In Hinduism, conscience, reason and independent thinking have no scope for development.... If Hindu Raj does become a fact, it will, no doubt be the greatest calamity for this country. No matter what the Hindus say, Hinduism is a menace to liberty, equality and fraternity. It is incompatible with democracy. Hindu Raj must be prevented at any cost.” —Dr B.R. Ambedkar

Pragya Singh Thakur claimed at Bhopal on April 19, 2019 that “Hemant Karkare died because of my curse”. In her own words, the policeman had treated her “very badly” while she was in custody in the 2008 Malegaon blast case. Elaborating the point, she said: “Hemant Karkare falsely implicated me. He died of his karma. I told him he will be destroyed. I told him his entire dynasty will be erased. Maine kaha tera [Karkare] sarvanash hoga.”1 The entire dynasty of the IPS officer came under the curse of a political fortune-seeker in the line of his duty performed with the highest standard of efficiency, probity and competence. The IPS officer was known for his impeccable integrity and indomitable courage. Hemant Karkare was cursed by an accused. This reminds me of a Bengali proverb, “Death does not befall a cow or a buffalo in consequence of the curse of a vulture, does it?” Almost all Indian languages, I am sure, must boast of a proverb as this or similar to it.

Hemant along with his colleagues chased the Pakistani terrorists, who, on November 26, 2011, waged a war against India and invaded Mumbai. The Mumbai Police fought valiantly and Hemant Karkare and some of his colleagues on mission finally laid down their lives. The nation is proud of the martyrs of 26/11. About eight years later, we hear that the IPS officer died of curse of a political power-seeker, contesting the 2019 elections from the Bhopal parliamentary constituency, Madhya Pradesh on the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party’s ticket. This nonsense or rubbish aimed at showing utter disrespect to the martyred police officer for his supreme sacrifice for the nation has widely been reported, commented upon and/or condemned by the Indian media, columnists, opinion-makers and people from various walks of life.

The nation posthumously conferred on the slain Hemant Karkare the Ashoka Chakra. This is India’s highest peacetime military deco-ration conferred for valour, courageous action or self-sacrifice away from the battlefield. It is the peacetime equivalent of the Param Vir Chakra, and is awarded for the “most cons-picuous bravery or some daring or pre-eminent valour or self-sacrifice” other than in the face of the enemy.

According to a British Broadcasting Corporation bulletin, the Mumbai terror attacks of 26/11 of 2008 left 166 people dead and soured ties between India and Pakistan. During the 60-hour siege, the gunmen also ambushed a group of policemen, including three of the city’s top officers travelling in a vehicle and killed six of them. The only policeman, Arun Jadhav, with grievous injuries, survived the unprovoked brutalities launched on India to tell the world “the grisly story of his escape”.2

Besides Hemant, Sadhvi Pragya’s curse, if anyone takes her at all seriously, drew curtains on the lives of valiant Indian Army Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, Mumbai’s Additional Police Commissioner Ashok Kamte and Senior Police Inspector Vijay Salaskar who though, in no way, were involved in the alleged torture of Pragya Thakur in investigations of Malegaon blast cases. A television channel reported that India had asked Pakistan to hand over Mumbai underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and Jaish-e-Mohammed leader Maulana Masood Azhar for their suspected involvement in the Mumbai terror attacks.3 This is an alarming element in the story to invite our anxious attention.

Any person with an iota of intelligence would be appalled at the direct linkage the curse straightway established between the afore-mentioned merchants of death and manufacturers of terror operating from Pakistani soil on one hand and India’s Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, who enjoys the umbrella held by the Hindu nationalist ruling party over her head, on the other. She is its candidate to contest from the Bhopal parliamentary constituency for the 2019 elections. The implication of the Sadhvi’s claim underlines that Pakistani terror outfits patronised by Dawood Ibrahim, Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and Jaish-e-Mohammed leader Maulana Masood Azhar took immediate and unfailing interest in translating her curse into action with bloody and devastating consequences. A deadly gang of terrorists comprising Ajmal Amir Kasab, Hafiz Arshad alias Abdul Rehman Bada, Abdul Rahman Chhota, Javed alias Abu Ali, Fahadullah alias Abu Fahad, Ismail Khan alias Abu Ismail, Babar Imran alias Abu Akasha, Nasir alias Abu Umar, Nazir alias Abu Umer and Shoaib alias Abu Soheb descended on Mumbai within ‘theek sava mahine’ or 37-38 days, to achieve the objectives and purposes of Sadhvi Pragya’s curse. They carried out not only Hemant Karkare’s sarvanash but many others too were gunned down by the terrorists. It is of immense national importance to decode the secrets along with the mystery enveloping the entire horrific episode. No Indian worth his salt would pocket an insult of this dimension for his motherland. This is a crying need to investigate the probable link between the two ends—a Sadhvi of India and terror outfits in Pakistan.

Part-II

Puri Jagannath and His Temple

Surrendered to East India Company in 1803

In a 14-day campaign, the East India Company captured Orissa unopposed and brought an end to the oppressive Peshwa rule there in 1803. The Army simply marched up to Pipli within firing distance of the Puri temple town. A delegation of the temple priests and pandas welcomed the victorious Commanding Officer of the British Army in his camp. They surrendered the control, management and maintenance of Bhagwan Jagannath, and his temple in respectful obedience to an ‘oracle’.4 According to Swami Dharma Theertha (pre-ascetic Parameswara Menon, B. A., LLB), “the oracle of the Puri Jagannath proclaimed that it was the desire of the deity that the temple too be controlled by the Company”.5 What an enigmatic desire of the Lord of the Universe to surrender himself to an invading power! Lord Krishna’s soul-stirring assurances held out in the Holy Geeta to his followers may be recalled:

“Yada yada hi dharmasya glanirbhavati bharata 

Abhythanamadharmasya tadatmanam srijamyaham

Paritranaya sadhunang vinashay cha dushkritam

Dharma sang sthapanarthay sambhabami yuge yuge”6

Were these any better than the hogwash or a pre-election promises to be dishonoured and neglected in compliance when elections are over? Though Lord Krishna was fervently expected to destroy the invading British along with the temple priests and pandas whose mischief out of petty self-interests threw Him, his brother and sister under the feet of the British overlords. 

From 1803 to 1841, therefore, the British Trading Company gained divine sanad or authority to control, manage and maintain the Jagannath Temple which was the home of Lord Krishna, his elder brother Balabhadra and their sister Subhadra. Regulations for tax were passed in 1806 and collection of taxes—at rates varying from Rs 2 to Rs 10—collected from the pilgrims in tens of thousands resorting to Puri from all over India. Classified into four classes, they paid taxes in lakhs of rupees. The Company spent, by and large, half of the annual income collected from pilgrims on the temple manage-ment, rituals, maintenance and establishment; and the balance half which was surplus, was credited to the Company Exchequer. The priests and other servants including devadasis of the Jagannath Temple did not suffer any qualms of conscience for the sorry state of affairs. 

The question really to ask is: Are the slokas of the afore-quoted Bhagawad Geeta anything but works of fiction? Interestingly, the English-men, at home and abroad, condemned their own most famous Trading Company for subscribing to idolatry. No Indians ever appear to have voiced any grievance against British occupation and control of Jagannath Temple for about four decades when they minted tons of money. Incidentally, it is of interest note that the Company also taxed pilgrims at Gaya, Tirupati, Prayag, etc. with enormous benefit and no protests from the Hindus. The British shared income from taxes with priests in the respective centres to keep them in good humour! 

The BJP Sankalpa Patra Lok Sabha 2019 on national security enunciated ‘Zero tolerance’ approach to terrorism as follows:

“Our security doctrine will be guided by our national security interest only.... We will firmly continue our policy of ‘Zero Tolerance’ against terrorism and extremism and will continue our policy of giving free hand to our forces in combating terrorism. [01]”

The countrymen might be enlightened, if not obliged, to know if the terrorists from Pakistan who executed Sadhvi Pragya’s curse with unbelievable commitment and meticulous precision are complementary to the nationalist party’s doctrine of zero tolerance approach to terrorism or otherwise. Lord of the Universe, Jagannath, as we have seen, had desired the control, management and maintenance of the foreign conquerors! With historical precedents as these on record available before us, Sadhvi’s party has a role to offer explanation to satisfy the genuine inquisitiveness, if any, of the countrymen.

Footnotes

1. The Hindu, April 19, 2019, Bhopal, “Hemant Karkare died because of my curse.“

2. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-46314555

3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/After-math_of_the_2008_-Mumbai_attacks

4. Swami Dharma Theertha, ’Menace of Hindu Imperialism’, 2nd edition, Har Bhagwan Happy Home Publication, Krishnanagar, Lahore, October 1946, p. 166.

5. Ibid. 

6. Bhagavad Geeta, Chapter 4, Verse 7-8.

A retired IAS officer and former Vice-Chancellor, B.R. Ambedkar University, Muzaffarpur, Bihar, A.K. Biswas, Ph.D, is a social anthropologist and commentator.

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