India

The victory of Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and the rise of Hindu identity

Bhopal: Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur has won by a margin of  3,70,696 votes against Congress veteran Digvijay Singh

In many ways the victory of Sadhvi Pragya Thakur over Digvijay Singh in Bhopal constituency is symbolic just as much as it is political. The saffron clad sanyasin taking on a powerful Congress leader who was behind the coinage of the word ‘Hindu Terror’ hold a strong message to the Hindu community who were shamed for holding on to their identity, culture and religion.

When Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur was arrested in October, 2008, allegedly for involvement in the Malegaon bombings, she was a young sanyasin destined for service to the people and the motherland.

The saffron wearing Sadhvi was arrested and jailed with lowly criminals and subjected to years of imprisonment and torture. She was forced to admit to being part of the conspiracy in the bomb blasts.

The then UPA government was actively trying to create a new narrative to put Hinduism as a religion which encouraged violence and killing. The ‘Hindu Terror’ story was actively promoted by  Digvijay Singh who used it to tarnish the Hindu culture and picture it as extremist and communal.

Saffron-clad sannyasins were branded as communal and fundamentalists. Little did the then ruling dispensation realize that saffron held a special meaning for each devout Hindu.

After years of being in prison, Sadhvi Pragya Thakur began to lose her health and her youthfulness disappeared from her face. Years of her life was taken from her just because she wore the saffron robe. Without any credible evidence she was finally granted bail in April 2017 on health grounds.

When BJP decided to field her from Bhopal against Digvijay Singh media went into a frenzy accusing the BJP for dabbling in communal politics and questioning her capabilities as a Lok Sabha candidate.

However, top BJP leadership including Narendra Modi vouched for her and questioned the media reminding them that people undergoing trials had stood for elections and even won. He was referring to Congress leaders who took part in Sikh genocide of 1984.

By fielding Sadhvi Pragya, BJP was signaling to the people that the narrative “Hindu terror” is the thing of the past and a myth created by the Congress and the media inimical to RSS-BJP ideology of cultural nationalism.

When Congress was trying to divide the country on the basis of caste by pitting lower caste and upper castes against each other, BJP stood for an united India.

The saffron robe actually was able to transcend the caste identities and brought everyone under a revived Hindu identity.

For a devout Hindu the victory of the sanyasin against a much formidable opponent is surely a victory of dharm over adharma.

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