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regular-article-logo Friday, 31 May 2024

Worship swords, not books: Hindutva hawk in Karnataka

Pramod Muthalik’s comments come days after BJP parliamentarian Pragya Singh Thakur told Hindus to keep their kitchen knives sharp

K.M. Rakesh Bangalore Published 14.01.23, 03:54 AM
Pramod Muthalik

Pramod Muthalik File Photo

A known Hindutva hawk in Karnataka, Sree Ram Sene national president Pramod Muthalik, has asked Hindus to worship swords and display them at their homes to protect their women.

His comments come days after BJP parliamentarian Pragya Singh Thakur told Hindus to keep their kitchen knives sharp, indicating a concerted Sangh parivar drive to polarise voters ahead of this summer’s Assembly elections.

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Muthalik said it was better to worship swords than tools or books on Ayudha Puja, observed widely in south India a day ahead of Dasara — which coincides with Vijaya Dashami — during which people worship articles linked to their occupation or vocation.

“We should worship swords instead of tractors, books or pens. We should display swords at our homes to protect our women,” Muthalik said at a convention to mark Swami Vivekananda’s birth anniversary in Yadravi, north Karnataka, on Thursday.

Till Friday evening, there were no reports of any police complaint being lodged or FIR registered. BJP-ruled Karnataka’s police had earlier filed a hate-speech FIR against Pragya three days after her comments, acting under public pressure.

Pragya Singh Thakur, Lok Sabha member and terror accused, had on December 25 exhorted Hindus to keep their vegetable knives sharp against perpetrators of “love jihad” — an unsubstantiated Sangh parivar allegation about a Muslim conspiracy to lure Hindu women into relationships and marriage to convert them.

Muthalik’s comment about protecting Hindu women appeared another way of alluding to “love jihad”. Recently, state BJP president Nalin Kateel asked party workers to talk of “love jihad”, and not small matters like roads and sewage, ahead of the Assembly polls. Sangh parivar outfits have been demanding a specific law, and a separate police wing, against “love jihad” in Karnataka.

Muthalik, whose outfit came under the spotlight over a decade ago by attacking pub-going women and Valentine’s Day couples in acts of moral policing, is known for making controversial remarks.

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