“They might come under different names like RSS, Sri Ram Sena, Sanatan Sanstha or Bajrang Dal. But they are all the same and are pursuing the same aim, of making this a Hindutva nation. They do not respect our Constitution which has given us freedom of thought.”
Smita Pansare does not mince words when she speaks, much like her father Govind Pansare, the Communist Party of India leader from Maharashtra, who was shot dead earlier this year by unidentified gunmen.
She was in the city to speak at an event ‘against cultural fascism’ organised by the All India Youth Federation on Saturday.
Addressing the crowd, she said that the same people who had murdered Gandhi took the lives of Pansare, Narendra Dabholkar and M.M. Kalburgi, for standing up for progressive values.
“Nathuram Godse was an RSS member. Now, people are making temples for him and celebrating the day of assassination as Shaurya Divas. Another accused, Veer Savarkar, is also being celebrated. The RSS leader Golwalkar had in his book pointed out three enemies – Communists, Muslims, and Christians. Those who speak against their ideology of hatred are seen as enemies and will be eliminated,” she said.
Touching upon the work of his father, including his book ‘Who was Sivaji,’ she said his ideas found resonance with a large section of the population.
“My father told the people that the Hindutva parties are using Sivaji’s name for political gains. They spread the lie that he was against Muslims. But he was not, and had many Muslims among his close circle and in his army. My father also spoke against the ideals of Sangh Parivar. Many people started following him and his ideas. This created fear in the mind of the extremists, prompting them to kill him. Groups like Sanatan Sanstha, which is accused of killing him, give training in using guns and bombs to their followers. Are all these required to defend Hinduism?” she asked.
She said the current regime at the Centre was not working for the common people.
“They are talking about ‘achche din.’ But only Ambanis and Adanis are having ‘achche din.’ On one side they say ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’, but education is inaccessible to those from the lower income category. Their Hindutva agenda is seeping into every sphere of activity. Even after so many days of strike by FTII students, they are not giving in. They want to capture people’s brains,” she said.
‘My father told the people that the Hindutva parties are using Sivaji’s name for political gains.’