Pramod Mutalik, the ex-VHP leader of the Ram Sena considers the the attack by his party workers on a pub in Mangalore as a “small incident” which is being blown out of proportion. He also takes offence to Renuka chowdhary comparing his party’s antics to the Taliban.
I personally tend to agree with Renuka Chowdhary. The onus of “serving society and preventing bad behaviour” (charter of the Ram Sena) does not give license to such hooliganism. Incidentally, the BJP chief minister of Karnataka, Yeddyuruppa has distanced himself from the Sena claiming, ” Iam telling you honestly, the Sri Ram Sene has nothing to do with Sangh Pariwar.” Rajnath Singh, the BJP top honcho also claims that it is ” unfortunate that our political opponents and the so-called secularists suffer from an RSS-BJP phobia. They tend to level allegations without even verifying the facts.”
Mr CM, surely you are lying.. and so are you Mr Rajnath Singh. Mutalik, who has 40-50 cases pending against him for all kinds of crimes; hate speeches, attacks on churches, editors, media and co-ed buses is a known ‘goonda’ (hooligan). He has been in the news earlier. In 2008, he had openly called for violence against non- hindu elements in response to a Christian Bandh being organised in Karnataka. Incidentally, the report also mentions that his ‘Sena’ was training a 700 strong force for suicide attacks and that he planned to increase the Sena’s strength to 5000 within a year. Mutalik was earlier the Organising Secretary of the VHP, North Karnataka and the Convenor of the Bajrang Dal, South Karnataka. He also became the Chief of the Karnataka Unit of Shiv Sena in Bijapur, in the presence of the former Maharashtra Chief Minister from Shiv Sena and former Speaker of the Lok Sabha Manohar Joshi, the right – hand – man of Shiv Sena Chief Bal Thackeray. Subsequently, he seems to have had a fallout with the BJP, which was already visible when Pramod Mutalik was taking over as the Shiv Sena chief. KB Ganpathy, editor of the Star of Mysore met Mutalik and quotes him,
“I worked for BJP for more than 30 years. They use people like me only to win elections.”
Ganpathy further writes, “He also requested me to give coverage for the activities of his organisations and also Shiv Sena. At this point, I asked him the reason for his disenchantment with the BJP. But he was rather reluctant to say beyond what he had already told me, as could be expected from politicians who are oriented towards religions or an extreme political ideology.”
In 2004, when Mutalik was arrested for giving inflammatory speeches, the BJP came to his aid. Leaders of Hindu organisations and also of the BJP, including S.R. Pikle and Krishna Ankolekar, submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner stating that the police were subjecting Pramod Mutalik to “mental torture” while in custody.
If the Ram Sena and Mutalik are not part of the Sangh, they are certainly its progeny. Mutalik has learned all his moves at the training grounds of the Shiv Sena and the BJP. He was actively involved in hooliganism even while working for the BJP and subsequently the Shiv Sena. The Mumbai ATS also links Mutalik to the Malegaon blast accused, Lt Col Purohit.
The apathetic reaction of the state govt. and specifically the CM Yeddyuruppa is appalling. Instead of condemning the attacks, the CM has focussed more on ensuring that the BJP distances itself from Mutalik, and also at the same time he has refused to ban the Sena, asking for more ‘time’. In the same breath, he has condoned the Sena’s actions ” ‘obscene’ dances would not be allowed in night clubs — be it in Bangalore or anywhere else in the state.Mutalik has managed to pull off a media hogging act of vandalism and hooliganism to purely antagonize and embarass the BJP govt in Karnataka. But at what cost? I hope the voters in Karnataka remember this game of politcal agenda during the coming elections.