Celebrating “Vadh” (killing) of Opponents is Deeply Embedded in the Politics of Hindutva

Written by Shamsul Islam | Published on: September 7, 2017
The Information and Technology minister in Narendra Modi's Cabinet, Ravi Shankar Prasad, a seasoned RSS man, who has risen from the cadres, has slammed online trolls for expressing happiness over the killing of senior journalist Gouri Lankesh. Prasad in a Twitter message expressed his anger against those cheering Gouri’s killing. His Twitter read: “I strongly condemn and deplore the messages on social media expressing happiness on the dastardly murder of Gouri Lankesh.”[1]

Gauri lankesh

Image: PTI

The admonition was needed, even opportune. But there are some questions. Ravi Shankar Prasad must tell us who exactly he is advising. Those criminals who are celebrating 'vadh' of Gouri Lankesh on social media or otherwise are hardened Hindutva practitioners who believe in converting democratic-secular India into a Hindu version of Pakistan, a Hindu theocratic state. In fact, it has been an old practice of Hindutva practitioners to celebrate the killing of opponents as 'vadh'. They did it after the killings of Narender Dhabolkar, Govind Pansare and Professor MM Kalburgi.

In fact, they also did so after the killing of Gandhiji by 'Hindu nationalists'. This debased practice was brought to notice by the first Home Minister of India, Sardar Patel. Sardar Patel in a letter dated 11 September 1948 to the then boss of RSS, Golwalkar wrote: "The RSS men expressed joy and distributed sweets after Gandhiji’s death."

If someone believes that these celebrations took place without the without the knowledge, or sanction of RSS/BJP top leadership, you may actually be grossly mistaken. A prominent Hindutva organization, Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS), allied to RSS has been regularly holding national conventions for the "Establishment of Hindu Nation in India. In 2013, one such convention was held in Goa. Some members of one avtar of the HJS, Sanatan Sanstha have been also found to be indulging in bomb blasts targeting some Muslim institutions and are under investigation for the murder of renowned secular intellectuals like Govind Pansare and Narendra Dhabolkar. This convention started its proceedings with a felicitation message from the then CM of Gujarat, Narendrabhai Modi wishing HJS all success in its project of turning India into a Hindu Nation.
Shockingly, from the same dais in this convention from where Modi's felicitation message was read, one of the prominent speakers, K.V. Sitaramiah, declared that Gandhi was 'terrible, wicked and most sinful'. Rejoicing in the killing of M.K. Gandhi, he went on to declare, “As Bhagwan Shri Krishna said in the Gita, Paritranaya Sadhunam Vinashaya Cha Dushkritam/ Dharamasansthapnaya Sambhavami Yuge-Yuge (For the protection of the good, for the destruction of the wicked and for the establishment of righteousness, I am born in every age) On…30th January 1948 evening, Shriram came in the form of Nathuram Godse and ended the life of Gandhi.”
K.V. Sitaramiah has also authored a book titled 'Gandhi was Dharma Drohi and Desa Drohi' in which the text at the back cover, quoting from the epic Mahabharata, demands 'Dharma Drohis must be killed' and "Not killing the deserved to be killed is great sin". He goes to, the extent of warning members of Indian Parliament that "where the members of Parliament seeing clearly allow to kill Dharma and truth as untruth, those members will be called dead".[2]
Prasad must talk to his mother organisation, the RSS and other Hindutva organizations to discard this inhuman and barbaric worldview that advocates the elimination of political Opponents, even celebrates their deaths.