Sanatan Sanstha has recently been in the news for all the wrong reasons. Interestingly, the media runs a kangaroo court against controversial Sanatan Sanstha and also uses it as a tool to malign right-wingers and the Hindu community. This is the same media which even after thousands of terrorist attacks across the globe, is yet to discover the religion of the terrorists.
Now, the Sanatan Sanstha has filed a civil defamation case of Rs 10 crore against the controversial news website The Quint. The organisation has raised strong objections to an article titled ‘The Sanatan Sanstha: Of Spirituality and Pseudo-Science’ published in The Quint in April this year. The article authored by Pallavi Prasad stated, “The Sanatan Sanstha is likely the most mysterious, hardline right-wing Hindu organisation that exists in India today.” It further says, “The Sanatan Sanstha is known for it’s hardline, often violent stance on Hinduism.” The article is full with criticisms about Sanatan Sanstha and the controversies surrounding it.
Sanatan Sanstha in a note published on its website has said that on April 12, 2018, The Quint had published a defamatory article titled ‘Sanatan Sanstha: The Spirituality and Pseudo-Science’ against the organization which caused a serious damage to its image. Therefore, the organisation has decided to file a civil defamation suit against Editorial Representative of the website Pallavi Prasad, President and Editorial Director Sanjay Pugalalia and Senior Editor Nishtha Gautam at a local civil court at Ponda in Goa.
The note further says that the Sanatan Sanstha’s Honorary Legal Advice Advocate Ramdas Kesarkar had sent a legal notice on May 21, 2018 and demanded the amount of compensation; however, due to lack of the fulfillment of this demand, Shri Virendra Marathe, a pro-Hindu advocate, Gajanan Naik, Nagesh Joshi-Takbhate, K. Deepa Tiwadi, KU Aditya Pawar and Ramdas Kejarkar have filed defamation suit against them.
The Quint and its owner Raghav Bahl are already under scanner of the investigating authorities and this civil defamation case by Sanatan Sanstha only seeks to compound the problems for the Quint which is infamous for its shoddy journalism.
As far as the Sanatan Sanstha is concerned, one thing that the media conveniently ignored is the fact that this controversial outfit was propped up and protected by the Congress itself. Sanatan Sanstha has been under the scanner of security agencies from a very long period of time. Time and again demands have been raised to put a ban on this controversial organisation. Former Chief Minister of Maharashtra and senior Congress leader, Prithviraj Chavan said, “When I was the CM in April 2011, Maharashtra Police brought before me a lot of documentary evidence and a big dossier on this organisation. After studying it, we came to the conclusion that we should ban this organisation and sent a formal proposal to the Union Home Ministry”. He further added, “After a lot of correspondence, we sent a 1,000-page dossier in 2013 and it was being investigated by the Union Home Ministry”. Chavan added that the Home Ministry also prepared a file but the decision to ban the Sanatan Sanstha was never taken because of some political reasons. He had gone to the extent of calling Sanatan Sanstha as ‘terrorist elements that pose a threat to the country’.
However, in 2015, former home minister Sushil Shinde had claimed that file dealing with proposals to ban Sanatan Sanstha never reached to his desk. He said, “The file never came to me. And if Chavan was so serious, he would have written to me or made a call. We are both Maharashtrians and belong to the same party … why did he not get in touch with me directly.” According to the Times of India report, “Officials who dealt with the matter confirmed that the ban requested by Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka was turned down in 2013 as “no incriminating material was on hand to justify a ban under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act”.
In 2015, a report of ‘The Hindu’ quoted Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju saying, “The Congress government in Maharashtra had written to the Home Ministry requesting that Sanatan Sanstha be notified as a terrorist organisation. The MHA then scrutinised the note and the then Home Minister P.Chidambaram objected to it.”
Senior Congress leader and former Home Minister P. Chidambaram had in 2011 denied to the demands of Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka to declare Sanatan Sanstha a ‘terrorist organisation’.
It is fishy that the Congress party has repeatedly refused to ban Sanatan Sanstha and it also did not entertain the demand of aforementioned states to declare Sanatan Sanstha as a terrorist organisation.
The whole outrage against the controversial Sanatan Sanstha is aimed at reviving the narrative of ‘Saffron Terror’ but if one follows this organisation’s history, it becomes very clear that it was the Congress party which saved and nourished it each and every time.