Who killed Dr. Dabholkar?
When I received the news of Dr. Narendra Dabholkar’s murder, like many others even I was in complete disbelief. His body was lying on the road, abandoned, for nearly an hour just across the police station next to the Omkareshwar Ghats in Pune. I could not watch this numbing news with a neutral mind due to the friendly relations I share with the doctor’s daughter Mukta, his son-in-law Anish Patwardhan and his son Hamid. In addition to the affection and love I felt for Dr. Dabholkar and his wife Dr. Shaila, there were also the friendly ties I had with his brother Dr. Dattaprasad Dabholkar.
Keeping aside all the greatness of the doctor, imagine, your 67 year old father being shot in the back and lying dead on the road ,abandoned, and you are unaware about the incident. How heartbreaking it must be for his wife, children and relatives! My initial reaction was very emotional which I shared in brief with my friend and the doctor’s son-in-law Anish Patwardhan through a SMS and that too because I could not reach him on his phone. After that day I could speak with him only today morning. In the period between, I went into self-retrospection. A dialogue with myself revealed a lot of pain and anger too.
Who is responsible behind the killing of Dr. Dabholkar? Naturally, my first answer to this was “we”. I don’t feel like changing this answer even today. I have had a lot of disagreements on opinions of Dr. Dabholkar or any other great people of his caliber and I have written about them too. But this does not indicate that the mutual love, affection and friendship we feel decreases in any way. In my experience these feelings only increase. In view of emotions and reasoning, this experience has proved to be true universally.
Intellectual disagreements can never be a reason to brutally murder anybody. If any uncultured people are involved in such intellectual disagreements then at the most it could lead to verbal fights or a little physical violence. When a murder is executed with a calm mind, at a suitable place and time, by shooting in the back, it has to be undoubtedly and unambiguously a political murder even though the actual killers may not be from a political background. The mentality of the conspirators of a murder is indicated by the method followed while carrying out the killing and the choice of the place and time!
If interpersonal opposition or contradiction is a reason for the murder of the Doctor then there was no need to pre-plan the place and time for the same. The Doctor was killed in Pune, few meters away from a police station. He was shot in the back on a full moon day, on the Omkareshwar Ghats, near a cemetery where dolls made of lemon and chilies (used to ward off the evil eye) are usually thrown. Pune was selected as the place for elimination! The Doctor used to go around unarmed and most of the times alone. Satara, Pune, Mumbai…the murderers could have killed him anywhere without pre-planning the murder. There was no need to select a special place, time and area. Such a detailed plan was not at all needed to kill a 67 year old unarmed, senior citizen. But however perfect a plan is the murderer always leaves behind a trail for the smart investigator. Once you get hold of this trail, then finding the murderers is not that a difficult job. All these thoughts were racing through my mind. The Anti-Superstition Bill would pin down those religious practitioners and swamis who were guilty of taking many innocent lives through their practices and now after the murder of Dr. Dabholkar these practitioners were the natural suspects and will always be so. But to undoubtedly conclude that these people are the only culprits and to begin investigating them would be of undemocratic fashion. It would also mean turning ourselves into the likes of ‘them’.
Wishing farewell to Dr. Dabholkar by saying things like “May his Soul rest in peace” would be equivalent to going against his fundamental thinking. But still some people do it when overcome with emotions. We can still understand these kind of people, but what to derive from the statements made by Maharashtra CM Pritivhiraj Chavan, through which he unhesitatingly indicates the murderers of Dr. Dabholkar? He goes on to announce a reward of Rs 10 Lacs for anyone who can help nab the murderers, an amount so high never offered before. All this leads to suspicions about the murder being a politically motivated one. The CM Pritiviraj Chavan went all the way to Satara to pay his last respects to Dr Dabholkar but never granted him appointment or time in his cabin here to discuss the Anti-Superstition Bill when the Doctor was alive. These events keep racing through my mind. “The ‘thought’ responsible for the murder of Mahatma Gandhi is also responsible for the murder of Dr. Narendra Dabholkar” This statement was made by, not just Prithviraj Chavan but by THE MAHARASHTRA CM Prithviraj Chavan. This means that what will happen ahead is already known to the conspirators! The State Chief Minister cannot make an irresponsible statement like this without the complete information. If we want to believe the otherwise that he indeed made this irresponsible statement, then he should resign from the post of the Chief Minister (But the question here is who will ask for his resignation and whom will he resign to!) because a person who can pass such irresponsible comments on such a sensitive issue is not fit to hold the post of a Chief Minister. But we can also give the Chief Minister the benefit of doubt here. “Thought process responsible for Mahatma Gandhi’s murder” means what? It could mean the way of killing by shooting. But since Gandhi was shot up front very openly, this theory fails. Remaining theory is that the killers were religious, Hindu, Brahmins, followers of Savarkar. This information seems to be too detailed. But yesterday on 21/08/2013, the CM has denied to Dr. Dabholkar’s family, of having any such information. Dr. Dabholkar’s son-in-law Anish Patwardhan pursued the Pune police officials for almost three hours but they did not have any answers for him. What confusion is this? Politicians under the supervision of the CM Shri Pritiviraj Chavan have held a particular religious and caste sect to be responsible for the doctor’s murder and have protested against the sect. After all this they claim that they don’t know anything about this issue. All this seems to be a part of a propaganda that wishes to create purposeful confusion.
The Anti-Superstition Bill and its creator Dr. Dabholkar were a thorn in the government’s path. Basically, the Anti-Superstition Bill targets to stop exploitation of superstitious people who due to their muddled up beliefs, are misled and exploited. This was the overall effort carried out by Dr. Dabholkar. For example, naïve women who cannot conceive children for some reason are misled by superstition practitioners or baba’s who call themselves as swamis or gurus. These swamis/gurus exploit the women sexually by convincing them that it is a religious act and by doing so they will be able to conceive. One of the clauses in the Anti-Superstition Bill deals with such kind of conmen posing as swamis/gurus. Here the fine point is that a child could be the direct result of a sexual relationship! But we have seen that in the political circles of the ruling party, national level leaders are also sexually exploiting a females with the lure of appointing her as a judge. How can we expect such politicians to oppose any other exploiter as both are of the same type (though the professions are different)? These type of politicians are to be found in all the political parties, spread everywhere. Thus, the Anti-Superstition Bill proposed by Dr. Dabholkar was troublesome for all and it also challenged the exploitation of the vote bank through religious issues. This was more of a hurdle for the ruling parties in power compared to the opposition parties out of power. Here I am strongly reminded of Krishna Desai’s murder rather than Gandhiji’s murder. At that time the Communists were arch enemy and so troublesome for the ruling Congress and then CM Vasantrao Naik. However, in reality it was the Shivsena who vehemently began an enmity with the Communists. But this enmity was going to actually resolve the troubles faced by the ruling Congress and Vasantrao Naik. In return, Shivsena wanted support of state government. Further in this regards, Communist Krishna Desai was brutally murdered. He was attacked from the back in the dark. The needle of suspicion pointed towards Shivsena. Bal Thackeray was arrested too. Mumbai was burning all over (but not at all for this issue!).
Eventually Bal Thakeray was released. After his death, the same Congress CM Prithviraj Chavan paid his last respects and saluted him. One Circle completed but Krishna Desai’s murder broke down the Communists and eventually they were finished. In this entire event, the Congress profited immensely (including current Rashtrawadi Congress). Thackeray became the “godfather” but could never become politically as successful or as huge as Congress. There is a different context regarding Gandhi Murder and the Congress and the current Rashtrawadi Congress which they comprehend too. The mention of Gandhi Murder in Maharashtra makes an unsaid reference to Anti-Brahmin and venomous Maratha (caste) and political polarisation. This has always been used as a tool beginning with the riots that followed the Gandhi Murder, in a fashion that was unlikely of Gandhi but highly likely of Godse!
A totally incompetent Government on the eve of elections, Delhi’s beloved and equally incompetent Chief Minister, sinking economy –all these form the basis, which readily explains the chain of propaganda following Dr. Dabholkar’s Murder.
There are a number of reasons for why Pune was an ideal location for the conspirators. The Omkareshwar Ghats, next to the crematory, trodden with Lemon-Chilies- the conspirators set the stage in such a way that points the arrow of suspicion directly towards the people opposing Dr. Dabholkar’s anti-superstitious thinking. In doing so actually the real murderer is hiding the pointers that could indicate him as the suspect.
These proofs have been planted carefully and end up looking more prominent than necessary. This also raises the suspicion about there being a third party which could gain politically due to his death and they must have planted these proofs in such a way that the suspicion lays naturally on those who have earlier opposed the thinking’s of Dr.Dabholkar. When the Doctor died his body lay abandoned on the road for over an hour after which the police circulated such a picture of the suspect which can actually match with almost 3-4 lacs of people in Maharashtra! So naturally there will be many people who will actually come forward and recognize the face saying they have seen the suspect somewhere! This is all done to create an illusion in minds of the people, by the politicians of both the ruling parties in the State under the careful guidance of the CM Prithviraj Chavan! Now, some unseen, unknown people will be paraded as the killers, a couple of known thugs will also be brought forward but the real conspirators will never be found. The ones found guilty of Krishna Desai’s murder were also not the real murderers, were they?
Nothing can sum up the personal loss felt by Dr. Dabholkar’s family and his few close friends, due to his death.
Other than this, there are two things which can be concluded undoubtedly :
1. By commenting on Dr.Dabholkar’s death, the CM Pritihviraj Chavan has put the venomous propaganda machine into action for the Elections in 2014.
2. If the Anti-Superstition Bill is passed the government will only gain from it, otherwise also its not going to loose anything as the vote bank will not be affected.
In conclusion, Dr. Dabholkar was unable to comprehend the depth at which the poisoned roots of caste based and religious fanaticism have been sprouted by the rulers. In this regards, he was negligent followed by us who remained equally negligent about the threats he faced. This is the revelation, I experienced today on 22nd Aug 2013 regarding Dr. Narendra Dabholkar’s death.
The truth could be different than this or actually should be different is what one hopes. The possibility that it may not be different is very scary too. Unfortunately, there is not even a remote possibility that any of the political leaders will themselves resign for negligence in this situation. And apart from this I doubt if anyone exists now who can demand such a resignation because Dr.Dabholkar was one of them…
Originally translated from the blog dated 22/8/2013
Today is 26th August 2013.
I don’t want to change my understanding about Dr. Narendra Dabholkar’s murder as written in my original blog dated 22/8/2013. The sketches of would be murderers drawn by police were futile as those sketches had no character. The sketches released in Mumbai gang rape are far more superior, have character and real than those released in Dabholkar’s murder and the accused have been captured. This is also one of the reasons for selecting Pune and not Mumbai (Now discussion on CCTV footage begins!).
According to statements released by ruling politicians and their fellow-travelers, Dr. Dhabolkar received threatening calls saying ‘we will pull a Gandhi on you.’ If we accept this theory these are the murderers or conspirators than why did they reveal the philosophy behind the cold-blooded murder.
This re-affirms my original theory.