What is the Abhinav Bharat? What is its agenda? Who are its members? The hardcore Hindu outfit with its ideological links to Veer Savarkar and Gopal Godse now has links, allegedly, with the army and this sets a dangerous precedent in its fight against terror writes Saikat Datta in Outlook.
Pune, once a shy retreat for pensioners, is now a booming business city-a second Mumbai just four hours by road from India’s commercial capital. Traditionally, it also has the reputation of being Maharashtra’s cultural and educational hub. But Pune has yet another side, being home to militant and ‘nationalistic’ Hindu ideologies for decades. Marathi Brahmin families scattered across the towns of western India suffered a backlash of sorts at the hands of pro-Congress Marathas and others after the Mahatma’s assassination. They mostly came and settled in Pune, an old Brahmin centre, carrying a deep resentment that runs through generations.
Also in Outlook, an interview with Himani Savarkar, president of the Abhinav Bharat
Till 2000, Himani Savarkar was an architect. That’s when she discontinued her practice to become the president of the Hindu Mahasabha. The 61-year-old Himani lives in Pune and her hardline Hindutva roots are well-entrenched. She is the daughter of Gopal Godse, the brother of Nathuram Godse, and is married to Veer Savarkar’s nephew. Himani is also the president of the Abhinav Bharat. Some members of the organisation have been linked to the Malegaon bomb attack of September 29. Himani spoke to Outlook. Excerpts:
How did you become the president of Abhinav Bharat? I had known Sameer Kulkarni (the Maharashtra ATS has alleged that he was part of the team that provided logistic support for the Malegaon blasts) for quite some time. Like me, he was also part of the rss. When he decided to start Abhinav Bharat, he approached me to become its president and I accepted.