I received a phone call from a journalist from a national level newspaper recently. A consequent conversation held as following.
“What makes you people hate Bhagavan? Why do you react to him as if you are fighting against a foe?”
“It is because Bhagavan is not deserved to be honored or to be felicitated. It is our rightful demand to withdraw the announced award. And we are fighting for the same”
“Isn’t he a great thinker and intellectual? I heard of him that he is a man of progressivism.”
“That is your misconception. The govt. of Karnataka is really misleading you to a false notion in this issue. Nobody in Karnataka has accepted him as an intellectual or a thinker. If someone considers him as a genuine intellectual then it is nothing but the defamation of those high statuses”
“But I fear that he too will be victimized by the fundamentalists, as Dabholkar, Pansare, and Kalburgi”
“Wait, my friend, the guilty in prior mentioned three murder cases has not been caught by the police till today. The investigation is on. Let us regard Dhabolkar as a rationalist who raised his voice against superstitions in your region. But Kalburgi never was such a rationalist in here. He had been a researcher throughout his life. Very rarely he had made some provocative statements, which were not capable enough to trigger any of his opponents to assassinate him. Now the people with some political agenda are assimilating Kalburgi’s murder with the other two from your place. Alas, conceiving Bhagavan along with these three is as ridiculous as placing a comedian in the row of scholarly stalwarts. He who is aware of Bhagavan’s statements will never regard him as a thinker”
Our discussion went on hereafter on the contribution and works of genuine intellectuals, and the public resentment that they faced. However, one thing was cent percent clear towards the end of our conversation that the news on this particular issue reaching the people of other states is regulated and systematically modified. People are there to modify the news in their favor before telecasting in national media. Some of the samples are here:
‘Karnataka is the abode of progressive thinkers; the rationalists and intellectuals are abundant here. Unfortunately, all of them are threatened to be dead since the number of fundamentalists is tenfold larger than of intellectuals. Fundamentalists are Hindu youngsters. They are prepared to execute like religious terrorists by some communal forces in the state. These people are terrific than Talibanis or ISIS. The only motive of this destructive production is to bump off the intellectuals’
This is how the govt. is misleading the larger public by imposing its agenda on media. I wonder if govt. hesitates to direct and promote a communal violence to prove what it projects on the public screen is true. It is very much required for the govt. to spark up violence in Karnataka. It is the least way-out to bottle- up or to defeat the Hindu wave. Congress govt. is waiting for a right moment to eradicate its opponents. Some of the media people and few pseudo intellectuals are toiling hard to bring success in this satanic endeavor of government. Changing the hue of any minor social mishap in Karnataka into communal color is a part of their gigantic and hazardous mission. Most of the TV channels are in the pockets of political leaders of their own party and controlled accordingly. As a consequence, a furious dictatorship has emerged in Karnataka. In other terms, Karnataka is North Korea of the great democratic country called India.
Pandemonium at its boom.
It is the first time Karnataka is falling into the bottomless perdition of immorality. The state is led by legends like Ramakrishna Hegde, Nijalingappa, Devaraj Aras, J.H. Patel and S. M. Krishna for past seven decades. And, never in the past was this happened. During last three years of congress government headed by Siddharamaiya, Karnataka has reached such a pathetic condition that it feels ashamed to show herself before the other states. No development stands are taken in Karnataka during past three years, no proficient industry has come, and no massive project is announced. Our chief minister seems to be least bothered of the draught, IIT issue, power shortage, the suicide of farmers, unemployment, and the empty treasury. Currently this ‘commotion of intellectuals’ is an added problem to the list.
It may be true that we have the largest number of pseudo-intellectuals.
One or the other intellectual will be nodding or negating something every day in electronic and print media. There are political leaders who know how to use these chaotic people. They immediately congregate before town hall of capital Bangalore, for any small possibility of shedding light on state or national BJP party, or on Hinduism or especially on Modi. They shout ‘down-down’ against Modi and BJP. They have a peculiar argument; for each and every problem in India they blame BJP, Hindus, and Brahmins. And they keep mum when people become violent from other than Hindu religion. These people disrespected even the great soul Abdul Kalam, by doubting his patriotism and dedication, while he departed from the physical body. They protested against the capital punishment to the terrorist Yakub Memon. Girish Karnad, the so-called intellectual and Jnanapeethi who presupposed the implementation of ‘anti-beef bill’, (It was just an assumption at that time) made people eat beef before the same town hall. (The irony is the same Karnad is awarded for directing a classical movie named “Tabbaliyu Neenaande Magane” in Kannada, which promotes the cow protection). Certainly there is no day when town hall is free. Never has it become unmanned because of these intellectuals. They are always chaotic, tumultuous, and problematic to the public these days. Pitiable thing is they are supported by police and the govt. itself!
Presently the noisiest intellectual fellow in Karnataka is Prof. K S Bhagavan. He served Maharaja College of Mysore as an English professor and entered into the scene by publishing his book “Shankaracharya and Fascism”. He addresses and denotes Shankaracharya with informal, dishonoring singular throughout his work, and expresses really baseless self-attested facts regarding Shankara’s life. He says ‘Shankara is lunatic, mentally imbalanced person. He massacred anti-Brahminical communities, destroyed Buddhist temples in India, propelled the communal intolerance’ and so on. The author never gave any scientific evidence to his proclamations in his work. He pens about Nagarjun Konda “There is no city nearby here. Hence, it is indeed Shankara who invaded on. A temple herein seems used to be a Buddhist prayer hall”. The whole book is full of such baseless and childish hypothesis. He put forth the things like “I saw, I felt, and hence that is the fact”
A new trend to defame Shankara and such religious leaders and reformers in a large scale began after this book. He says, ‘Shankara vindicated Manusmriti, and he punished shudras by pouring melt led into their ears, he cut their tongue, he cut open their abdomen, he forced them to enter fire’. The intellectuals, who read these fictitious stories, are trying to propagate the same led and cutting tongue scenes. Here ‘doses Bhagavan know Sanskrit?’ is a very much questionable thing, since he claims that he writes an authoritative and scholarly book on Shankara. He publically confessed that he knows a ‘little bit of’ Sanskrit. How a person who doesn’t have the good hold over Sanskrit and who never read the original works of Shankara can pass such loose talk? Apart from this, isn’t it the responsibility of a writer to think twice before making such subtle statements? It is the basic social responsibility of any individual. One can easily understand the way of Bhagavan’s illogical arguments by having a look at his perception towards Sanskrit, Brahmin, priest class, and the whole Indian culture and tradition. According to Bhagavan ‘ Shankara denied the right to education to Dalits, because he feared that there won’t be people to carry his chariot if Dalits become literate’
His statements since past 7-8 months are really terrible. Look at the samples-
- Sri Ram is not a God, he is not a monogamist either. He had many wives, and he used to kill time drinking ‘Sura’ (a kind of alcoholic drink) all the day along with them. The whole state was taken care of by his brother Bharata. Rama would drink all the day and he would make Seeta drink Sura. Another habit of Rama was to spend time with harlots. 98% of the subjects of his state were disgruntled by his wicked deeds, so how can Rama be an ideal man?
- Bhagavad-Gita enforces one to fight and to kill. Krishna plays his dodgy tricks to stimulate Arjuna and makes him kill his own kith and kin.
- Vivekananda was fond of Buddhism. He actually hated Hinduism deeply; even deeper than Ambedkar. Everybody should embrace Buddhism.
- Sw. Vivekananda had regarded Kerala as a mental hospital. Shankara emerged there only.
- Shankara and Madhwa are anti-humanitarians; they are fascists. They had no concern towards lower strata of society. Both of them were stone hearted and cold blooded people. They assassinated their opponents.
- “Brahman is the ultimate fact, and one and only truth. This world is illusionary. The Jeevaatman and Paramatman are indifferent”- this statement of Shankara is false. This world is not illusionary, and the science has proven today no existence of life apart from this planet. Hence, the life on earth and the far distant Paranjeeva cannot be one. Shankara erred here.
- Okkaliga (a community) people have no social awareness.
All these statements are merely loose talks. He never comes up with valid and logical proofs for his statements. He just makes these baseless statements repeatedly from any available dais. In Bangalore, at the conference hall of Kannada Sahitya Parishat, on the occasion of students’ felicitation program, he made a statement -“Do not read Ramayana, it will lead you to suicidal mindset”. The conveners of the event pleaded him to conclude his speech, but Bhagavan spoke without stopping for one hour in police protection. It seems he has a hidden agenda since he speaks knowing that nobody is listening.
Judiciary in inertia!
More than 30 complaints are lodged against Bhagavan in Karnataka. A case was filed by Manoj Kumar on February 17, 2015, in the police station of Jayalakshmipuram, Mysore. Thenceforth, many a cases in Vitla, Uppinangadi, Moodbidre, Bantwala, Bajpe, Hebri, Bhatkal are filed on Bhagavan by the people voluntarily. Cases are filed under IPC section 153 A, 153 B, 295 A, 34 and so on. Even FIR is registered in Mysore and Uppinangadi. But, for everybody’s dismay, on action has been taken on Bhagavan by the Karnataka Police. Instead of taking action on Bhagavan, the police have passed a notice to the complainant in Mysore! Bhagavan asked for anticipatory bail in the court to get rid of the headache of being arrested. The court granted him anticipatory bail on 8 conditions. As per the conditions, he had to apply for bail within 15 days from the day of anticipatory bail was issued. He had to sign in the register book in the police station every Sunday. He was restricted from committing the same offense, and from making provocative statements. Bhagavan is least bothered about this; he never went to the police station to sign, and even he has not applied for bail. The restriction on his provocative talk by the court is valid for full one month, but Bhagavan never minded it and made the nasty statement on Rama as well as Ramayana. Neither govt. and the home ministry nor the police took hardly any action on this person.
Actually, the people of Karnataka are highly disgruntled after the announcement of Sahitya Academy award to Bhagavan on 19 Sep 2015. People are the hundreds of questions, in electronic social media and in print media, that how a person who bashes and hurts the feeling of a particular community is given that honor. Amidst of all this, a person named Raghupati Tantri of Hubli had called Sahitya academy and expressed his resentment regarding the award. His approach was polite and he asked how it is fair to award a person of venomous speech. Within two days he was fitted into a murder threat case; police special force headed to Hubli arrested him and brought him to Bangalore. He was kept in a cell for two days without food and water, and at the end released from jail with utterly empty hands. His mobile phone, money, and everything were snatched away. He spent some 45 thousand rupees to get bail. Any empathetic person sheds the tear hearing his story. The news was systematically withheld by some officials. A great drama was played to project this person as communalist, fundamental terrorist and so on. In reality, Raghupati Tantri had not called Bhagavan. But all the media telecasted this news with gaudy headlines- “A Hindu fundamentalist called and threatened the thinker Bhagavan”
It is the finest instance how the constitutional system is broken down in Karnataka. Bhagavan- on whom more than 30 cases are filed- is provided with the gun man. It is for the first time Karnataka is witnessing protecting an accused, instead of arresting him. The people are scared where the hell our system is pushed to. The media is not paying attention even though the social media like twitter and facebook are on full action against this injustice. The whole drama is first exposed only in websites and facebook. Around 11.5 thousand people have signed a petition against Bhagavan in change.org website.
Karnataka literary world is well reputed all over the nation. Highest numbers of Jnaanapeetha awardees are from this language. Having this pride, now awarding a person like Bhagavan is frustrating for all of us. People who have signed the petition have also commented, which reveals the fact. People have written a number of letters to Hon. Governor of Karnataka, Chief Minister, President of Karnataka Sahitya academy, President of kendra Sahitya Academy, Hon.C.J of the high court of Karnataka. Above all this, Malati Pattanashetti, the president of Karnataka Sahitya academy, named all these people who are urging to withdraw award, as underdeveloped, half- baked youth. And she added that she is not willing to change the decision in spite of a large number of love letters she received.
As of now, one cannot expect a goon- govt. to step down from its crown to listen to the public. The only task they are busy in is, confining the people who raise voice against the injustice. Withdrawal of award cannot be expected by academy side too. For them it is not the public academy, their decision is final and they are fitting the innocent people into murder threat case. Expecting a litterateur to come forth to deny this award and to come out of filthy ambiance is also almost ruled out. Because, it is very much visible in their blog articles and statements that how much of behind-screen- the effort they have put to be nominated to the award. And expecting Bhagavan himself to deny this award is unimaginable. He made it clear that he never bows down to the movement in public media, and he is very much willing to receive the award. So, towards the end, Sahitya Saraswati might have to shed the tear for her pathetic situation in Karnataka. All the pleas go in vain as of now.
The sarcastic and paradoxical statements of Bhagavan
- Bhagavan is under govt. security for past six months and he makes comments on Hindu gods as they are instigators of violence since they hold weapons in their hands. The government is paying each single penny of his security expenses.
- M. Siddharamaiya and Bhagavan have been friends for past three decades. Bhagavan is given everything by the government, and Siddharamaiya asserts all the statements of Bhagavan as freedom of expression. But the same freedom of expression is never applied to the person who phoned and asked valid questions to the the academy. He was imprisoned.
- Bhagavan neglects 11,500 public opinions against him in change.org, and claims that the award is not given by the public but by the academy. But the same Bhagavan feels proud for being a key person to award another writer D. Javare Gowda with Pampa Prashasti.
- Media always address him as a thinker, researcher, and rationalist. But media don’t know that Bhagavan never submitted his thesis having taken sabbatical leave and fellowship.
- This person who claims Sri Rama as anti-women welfare, but the public knows how this Bhagavan maltreated his widow daughter-in-law.
- Bhagavan refused to appear in public debated to face the open challenge twice, but he says nobody was ready to debate with him, and thus all he says is fact. Once in a TV channel a debater on phone challenged him simply to spell a shloka (verse) from Bhagavad-Gita. Bhagavan somehow escaped from this embarrassment and started to abuse the person with his nasty wordings. In Mysore, it was all set for an open debate with Pejawara Shree, and as usual at the last moment Bhagavan refused to participate. Sw. Vishweshwara Teertha invited him to the the personal discussion, but Bhagavan somehow escaped from the event by his childish characteristics. On top of these all, he said the Swamijis afraid of facing him in the debate.
- According to Bhagavan, the whole public of Karnataka is following superstitions, and all the faiths should be dissected. In another hand, he says- “Rama was not born to his father, but because of Putrakameshti Yaga.”
- He was on his toe to burn Bhagavad-Gita on the dais, with the consent of the president of the conference. But,, when the case was filed, he said, “I will burn only two verses of Gita, not the whole book”. Sometimes he said there is no spirituality in Vedic literature. In another hand he says, “Bhagavad-Gita is of two sects. One is spiritual and another is societal”
- He was an aspirant of vice-chancellorship of Hampi University, but the person whom he had helped by nominating name for Pampa award did not help Bhagavan herein. As a result, Bhagavan cut off the friendship with him.
- A ridiculous statement ever he made is “ I am not vilifying any Hindu god or goddess”
Public and Advocates posed these questions
- Section 195 A is referred to such an offense which cannot be issued bail. The court need not to issue the warrant the to arrest accused in this case. Given all this judicial facts, why the police are not arresting Bhagavan? What would be the reason behind not arresting a person on whom more than 30 cases are lodged? (neither police nor the home ministry has responded to this quest)
- Is there any such procedure in our judiciary or democratic mechanism to arrange an interstate stay-out by the govt. for a person accused in 30 plus cases?
- How far it is reasonable to appoint Bhagavan to a research committee on Ramayana knowing him as a loose talker?
- Is it judicial to issue notice on the person who filed case? Why cannot the police consider the minister who was present on the stage where Bhagavan was about burn Gita?
- Bangalore University has prescribed a book badly translated by Bhagavan as text, to B.Sc students last year. How this prescription is fair?
- How the Sahitya academy finalizes the names for honorary awards, what are the criteria? How many of the committee members have chosen Bhagavan’s name, and on what basis?
- The awards are not given to the persons arrested once. So, is Bhagavan safeguarding the himself only to get an award?
- Karnataka naxal subjugation force had submitted a report in 2006-07 to the police, wherein they had mentioned the names of people who are indulged in Naxal activities. Now some of those names are nominated for the award! So, the criminal’s names also are in the good books of the academy?
- Bhagavan openly said that he is the person who suggested present CM of Karnataka to run a campaign in order to get into the power. Will the CM uphold all the deeds of Bhagavan to pay his gratitude?
- Contempt of court that Bhagavan committed is never taken seriously, why? Why is no action taken?
Authored by Rohith Chakrathirtha with Naveen Gangothri