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New Wave of Anti-Hindu Christian Inquisition in Goa

By: V Sundaram, IAS, Retd.
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I understand that a blast took place at 2130 hrs on the night of 16 October, 2009 when explosives allegedly kept in a scooter went off on a busy street in Margao, Goa. The Goa Police is desperately trying to implicate the so-called "Right-wing group" Sanatan Sanstha in this unfortunate incident. "Right-wing group" is the standard terminology for all the Hindus of India including all the Dharmacharyas and Shankaracharyas! It has been widely reported that there is an effort to mischievously link this blast with the Malegaon blast accused Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur who is still in custody in Maharashtra for the last several months. The whole country knows that the ATS in Maharashtra have so far failed miserably in their attempt to foist a terrorist criminal case on Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur. As a former civil servant belonging to the Indian Administrative Service, I have rich experience in dealing with the problems of crime and law and order. I am also familiar with the ways of the police, particularly when they try to dance to the tunes of the political executive --- the party in power --- and how they go out of their way to manufacture or foist cases in a blatantly illegal manner upon the innocent political rivals of the party in power. The Congress government in Goa and the Maharashtra are working together and round the clock to somehow ban the Sanatan Sanstha by hook or by crook.

The Dhimmis like Shri. Sharad Pawar Union Agriculture Minister and the Chief of NCP and former Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Shri. R. R. Patil have been unconstitutionally and illegally demanding the imposition of a Government ban on Hindu Organizations like Sanatan Sanstha and Bajarang Dal during the last 2 years.

Goa Deputy Inspector General of Police Ravindra Yadav has stated in a press conference yesterday that as yet there is no proof whatsoever that Sanatan Sanstha has any involvement at all in this blast and that none of its members have been arrested. This was on Monday, 19 October 2009. The Goa police have again subsequently confirmed the same fact on Wednesday, 21 October 2009 by stating that right-wing Hindu group Sanatana Sanstha is not responsible for the scooter blast in Margao on October 16, 2009. It is comical to note that the same State Police had earlier said that the two key accused in the case -- Malganda Patil and Yogesh Naik -- had links with the Sanatan Sanstha.

Earlier, Goa Home Minister Shri.Ravi Naik had stated that Sanathan Sanstha worker Malganda Patil planned and executed Friday"s (16 October, 2009) blast near a church in Margao. To quote his spicy words drawn from his cheap political imagination (or non-imagination!): "Two persons, Malganda Patil and Yogesh Naik, are involved. Patil works as an administrator with the Sanathan Sanstha. He has planned and executed the blast. He planted the bomb in the scooter and thus two people were injured".

I am amused to see the infantile allegation made by the Goa Home Minister Ravi Naik to this effect: "The explosives may have got triggered before being planted by the Sanatan activists at a designated spot. They wanted to disturb a traditional Diwali-eve event "Narakasur" effigy competition in the heart of the town as the blast took place only a few metres away from the competition venue."

Now I would like to bring this oscillating story to an honourable end (!!) by quoting the words of Shri.Atmaram Deshpande, Superintendent of Police, Crime Investigation Department, Goa: "Nowhere have we said that the organisation Sanatan Sanstha is involved. We just said that the persons who were suspected of carrying out the attack have links with Sanatan Sanstha."

After all this lurid and ugly Police drama, again I have received shocking news (Thursday, 22 October 2009) from Goa that about 35 police sleuths have again entered the Ashram Premises of Sanatan Sanstha in Goa in the afternoon today. As I am writing this story, I understand that their pre-meditated search is still going on. I also hear that nearly 250 Hindu devotees living in the Ashram have been asked to assemble in one main hall like under-trial prisoners! The fact that the Police have armed themselves with a warrant from a Court of Law by itself cannot give them the legal sanction to exceed the civilized limits of human decency set by the Supreme Court of India in their several orders laying down the guidelines/norms for the proper conduct of such searches. Seeing the manner in which the whole issue is being approached by the Goa Government/Goa Police, reminds me of the uncalled for brutal excesses let loose by the Tamilnadu Police against His Holiness Shri Shankaracharya of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam some years ago during the draconian AIADMK rule of Selvi Jaayalalitha.

After openly declaring that the Sanatan Sanstha is not involved in any manner in the Goa Blast, the Goa Police have entered the Ashram of Sanatan Sanstha again on October 22, 2009. Their herding the devotees/inmates in the Ashram in one hall, only reminds me of what George Orwell wrote about how the Jews of Europe were persecuted by the cruel Nazi Police from 1939 to 1945: "They were driven out by the highly cultivated barbarians, by technically trained primitives, by uniformed cannibals".

As a free-lance journalist, I would like to pose this question to the colonial Congress Government in Goa: Would their Police dare to enter the premises of a Voluntary Muslim Religious and cultural association or a Voluntary Christian religious and cultural agency?

I am firmly of the view that the Goa Police under the instructions of the Government of Goa are functioning like Star Chamber in England until 1641. This court was set up to ensure the enforcement of laws against prominent people, those so powerful that ordinary courts could never convict them of their crimes. Court sessions were held in secret, with no indictments, no right of appeal, no juries, and no witnesses. Over time it evolved into a political weapon and became a symbol of the misuse and abuse of power by the English monarchy and courts.

I am also of the view that the Congress Party and the NCP in Goa are conspiring to strangulate the most authentic and truthful Hindu religious and cultural organization like Sanatan Sanstha today in the same unscrupulous and dictatorial manner in which the Nehru Congress Government tried to asphyxiate the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS) in November 1949. After the Nehru and the communist V.K Krishna Menon led this proud nation to a humiliating defeat against China in 1962, the shame-faced Nehru under furious public pressure invited the patriotic RSS to participate in the Republic Day Parade on January 26, 1963.

Nearly 1 year ago when the Thane Blasts took place in Maharashtra, the Maharashtra Government wanted to falsely implicate the Sanatan Sanstha in that blast without any foundation in fact. Now a similar attempt is being made by the Government to some how close the Sanatan Sanstha in Goa.

I spoke to the Sanstha spokesperson Abhay Vartak over the telephone this morning. He told me in categorical terms: "It"s a conspiracy by Goa politicians against our peaceful Hindu religious organisation. There was no objectionable material recovered by the police from our Goa ashram. Yet, the Goa government is trying to defame us by comparing us to Lashkar-e-Taiba."

Sanatan Sanstha spokesperson Abhay Vartak has stated the Goa police did not record any "panchanama" and came to the ashram without a search warrant. He has also said that the police seized some computer hard disks, but refused to make a "hash value" report of the seized disks. The hash value report is very important to safeguard the hard disks so that it cannot be tampered with; otherwise, anyone can illegally put objectionable material in the disks and blame the Sanatan Sanstha for it. I am firmly of the view that the Government of Goa is targeting to close the Sanatan Sanstha without any scruples for the Rule of Law.

Sanatan Sanstha has denied all the allegations of the Goa Police and the Goa Home Minister terming them as "totally baseless and unfounded and as a travesty of truth". In a statement Sanatan Sanstha has said: "Based on searches conducted at the ashram in Ramnathi, the institution is being portrayed as an accused in Margao blast. Media should not jump the gun and should wait for proper judicial process to get over. Sanatan Sanstha will never encourage or support such activities in its ashram. The disciples have cooperated with the police during their search of the ashram on October 16 and will continue helping police in their job."

Former Chief Minister of Goa and now Leader of the opposition in Goa, Mr.Manohar Parrikar has strongly condemned the defamatory statements of Mr. Ravi Naik, Home Minister of Goa regarding the involvement of Sanatan Sanstha in the Margao blasts. If I can interpret his statement, he has indirectly clearly indicated the fact that the Goa Home Minister had taken planned action to feed the politically manufactured anti-Sanatan Sanstha information to the media in advance to publish wholly baseless incriminating reports against Sanatan Sanstha. The whole thing looks like a stage managed drama to somehow implicate a truly patriotic and nationalistic Hindu Organization like Sanatan Sanstha in the Goa blasts. Otherwise how could the pseudo-secular anti-Hindu media-both print and electronic-be ahead in providing information on the scooter involved in the blast. The only ugly inference that can be drawn is that perhaps the Home Minister of Goa, gave full details relating to the scooter involved in the blast belonged to the relative of his opponent in the Ministry, in advance to the Press. The "contrived discovery" made by the press was subsequently confirmed in a solemn manner by the Home Minister.

Against this background, I fully endorse the fears expressed by Mr.Manohar Parrikar: "Politicians should not give political colours to such incidents. Maximum possible wrong information is being disseminated in this case and hence I am worried that justice may not be done".

It is a matter of national shame that the main line English media are irresponsibly trying to usurp the official role of the Goa Police. They have already declared in an authoritarian - no less absurd or abominable even from the point of view of Press Freedom - manner that the Sanatan Sanstha is a "Hindu Terrorist Organisation". This arbitrary and dictatorial assessment of the media is not borne out by any credible evidence gathered by the police. They are merely crying wolf. They are all functioning as agents of the Government in Goa and New Delhi.

In these very columns on 11 February 2009, in an article titled Guantanamo Bay in Maharashtra - I, I had observed as follows: "The UPA government in Maharashtra is mischievously using the ATS as a political instrument to foist cases on Hindu political and Hindu religious leaders. Like the CBI, which I have several times described in these columns as disgraceful, which is being used on a daily basis by the govt to foist criminal cases on their political opponents, the ATS in Maharashtra is also functioning as a political instrument of the government in Maharashtra. ... It is a matter of time before the ATS declares the Sangh Pariwar as the biggest progenitor of terror in India. They are capable of politically manufacturing new "revelations" to suggest (to them at any rate and at any cost!) that, if SIMI is to be banned, so also must be Bajarang Dal, VHP, ABVP, RSS and eventually BJP. Finally, the lethal fact that the government will have neither the gumption nor credible and clinching evidence to do so is quite another matter. But there is no doubt whatsoever that the ATS in Maharashtra, taking political instructions from the in power there, is working round the clock to prove the equation of ISLAMIC and "Hindu" terror. But the "politically" determined efforts of ATS to arrive at this "equation" will have disastrous consequences leading to the complete derangement of communal harmony in India".

The legitimate and well-founded fears expressed by me as an independent journalist asserting my indivisible right to both freedom of speech and freedom after speech in these columns on 11 February, 2009 have been fully vindicated by the verdict of the Designated Judge Y D Shinde, presiding over the Special MCOCA Court, on 31-7-2009. This learned Judge has dropped the provisions of the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) invoked against Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and others declaring that none amongst them are part of an organised crime syndicate

I view the Goa Government/Goa Police invasion of the Sanatan Sanstha Ashram at Ramnathi near Margao (still going on as I am writing this story at 8 pm, 22 October 2009) as an organized part of the larger programme of renewal and return of The Holy Inquisition of the Hindus launched by the Portuguese Catholic Church from 1540 onwards and lasting till 1812. To quote the words of the Christian historian, Dr. T. R. de Souza: "At least from 1540 onwards, and in the island of Goa before that year, all the Hindu idols had been annihilated or had disappeared, all the temples had been destroyed and their sites and building material was in most cases utilized to erect new Christian Churches and chapels. Various viceregal and Church council decrees banished the Hindu priests from the Portuguese territories; the public practices of Hindu rites including marriage rites, were banned. THE GOAN INQUISITION IS REGARDED BY ALL CONTEMPORARY PORTRAYALS AS THE MOST VIOLENT INQUISITION EVER EXECUTED BY THE PORTUGUESE CATHOLIC CHURCH."
It is a well known fact of authentic history that from 1530 onwards in the island of Goa all the Hindu idols had been annihilated or had disappeared, all the Hindu temples had been destroyed and their sites and building material was in most cases utilized to erect new Christian Churches and chapels. Various viceregal and Church council decrees banished the Hindu priests from the Portuguese territories; the public practices of Hindu rites including marriage rites, were banned; the Portuguese State took upon itself the task of bringing up Hindu orphan children; the Hindus were denied all kinds of gainful employment, while the Christians were preferred; it was ensured that the Hindus would not harass those who became Christians, and on the contrary, the Hindus were obliged to assemble periodically in Churches to listen to preaching or to the condemnation and refutation of the religion of their forefathers rooted in the Vedas and the Upanishads.

The worst form of barbarism was let loose in Goa in the form of "Mass Baptism" and what went before it. The practice was started by the Jesuits and was thereafter followed by the Franciscans also. The Jesuits staged an annual Mass Baptism on the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul on January 25 every year. A few days before the ceremony, in order to secure as many neophytes as possible, the Jesuits would go through the streets of the Hindu quarters in pairs, accompanied by their Negro slaves, whom they would urge to seize the Hindus. When the blacks caught up a fugitive, they would smear his lips with a piece of beef, making him an "untouchable" among his people. Conversion to Christianity was then his only option. Are the Congressmen in Goa Government trying to harass the Hindu devotees of Sanatan Sanstha like the Jesuit Fathers in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries? The Colonial Government has let loose a similar reign of terror against the peaceful and tolerant Hindu devotees of Sanatan Sanstha in Goa today (22 October, 2009) in a savage manner which is very much reminiscent of the historical Goan Inquisition.
The Goan Inquisition is regarded by all contemporary portrayals as the most violent inquisition ever executed by the Portuguese Catholic Church. It lasted from 1560 to 1812. The inquisition was set as a tribunal, headed by a judge, sent to Goa from Portugal and was assisted by two judicial henchmen. The judge was answerable to no one except to Lisbon and handed down punishments as he saw fit. The Inquisition Laws filled 230 pages and the palace where the Inquisition was conducted was known as the Big House and the Inquisition proceedings were always conducted behind closed shutters and closed doors. The screams of agony of the culprits (men, women, and children) could be heard in the streets, in the stillness of the night, as they were brutally interrogated, flogged, and slowly dismembered in front of their relatives. Eyelids were sliced off and extremities were amputated carefully, a person could remain conscious even though the only thing that remained was his torso and a head.
Diago de Boarda, a priest and his advisor Vicar General, Miguel Vazz had made a 41 point plan for torturing Hindus. Under this plan Viceroy Antano de Noronha issued in 1566, an order applicable to the entire area under Portuguese rule:
"I hereby order that in any area owned by my master, the king, nobody should construct a Hindu temple and such temples already constructed should not be repaired without my permission. If this order is transgressed, such temples shall be, destroyed and the goods in them shall be used to meet expenses of holy deeds, as punishment of such transgression."
In 1567 the campaign of destroying temples in Bardez met with success. At the end of it 300 Hindu temples were destroyed. Enacting laws, prohibition was laid from December 4, 1567 on rituals of Hindu marriages, sacred thread wearing and cremation. All the persons above 15 years of age were compelled to listen to Christian preaching, failing which they were punished.

Dr. Trasta Breganka Kunha, a Catholic citizen of Goa writes, "In spite of all the mutilations and concealment of history, it remains an undoubted fact that religious conversion of Goans is due to methods of force adopted by the Portuguese to establish their rule. As a result of this violence the character of our people was destroyed. The propagation of Christian sect in Goa came about not by religious preaching but through the methods of violence and pressure. If any evidence is needed for this fact, we can obtain it through law books, orders and reports of the local rulers of that time and also from the most dependable documents of the Christian sect".
Against this background, it will be reasonable to infer that the Christians in Goa might have killed the two persons who went on a scooter on Friday night in Margao town. This suspicion gets strengthened when we recall the fact that the Hindu religious leader Swami Lakshmananda in Orissa was brutally killed by the Christian group through their hired assassins in August 2008.

V Sundaram, IAS, Retd.

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