The BJP’s plan to create communal tension just before elections and polarise the state and capture power was foiled by some shrewd officials in Mangalore.
Ever since BJP came to power in the center, cow slaughter was portrayed as a heinous crime and special teams were formed in BJP ruled states. After Yogi Adityanath came to power, the DGP announced that cow smugglers will be booked under NSA. In December 2017 a 22 year old Muslim youth was shot dead in a fake encounter suspecting him to be a cattle smuggler.
And several lynchings in the name of cow protection has been going on all over the country after BJP came to power.
The BJP’s game plan in Karnataka too involves cow protection. Karnataka which is known for several mutts, has been a hub of cow politics. One such hub is Amritadara Gaushala at Mangalore.
Elections for Karnataka was announced on 27th March 2018. The BJP which always has creating communal enmity as plan A for any election tried a similar trick in Karnataka too.
On 29th March 2018 a few cattles were stolen from the Gaushala which is headed by Rajaram Bhat. Bhat who claims himself to be a protector of cows all over the state was waiting for an opportunity. However, the police promptly nabbed and arrested the culprits. Four people from the Muslim community Ahamed Kabir, Abubacker Siddik, Mohammed Imran and Karpe Siddik were arrested for stealing cows.
However, Rajaram Bhat had other plans. He announced an indefinite fast with a vague demand. His demand was that there should be no future cow smuggling. And all potential cow smugglers need to be arrested and detained under preventive detention laws. The demand is impossible to fulfill. But, Rajaram Bhat persisted and refused to relent.
His indefinte fast commenced. And it gained momentum. BJP leaders from Anant Kumar Hegde and other senior Karnataka leaders formed a bee line to visit Rajaram Bhat and express solidarity. Crowd outside the mutt where Rajaram was conducing the fast started growing by the day. From 200 on the first day, the crowd swelled to 2000. The Mangalore district administration kept a keen watch. As election process has already commenced, the district was under the watch of the Election Commission and a report was sent to the EC on a daily basis.
Mahesh Karjige, the Assistant Commissioner of Mangalore, made frequent visits to the mutt to gauge the mood. The state intelligence also maintained a close watch.
The administration got alarmed as the crowd swelled. Everyday, whenever a BJP leader visited the fasting venue, provocative speeches were made blaming the entire Muslim community and termed them as traitors.
Now enters the hero of the picture Kalladka Prabakar Bhat. In 2012, when BJP was ruling the state Congress MLA, Vasanth Bangera, termed Kalladka Prabakar Bhat as thus : “There is a chief commander for Mangalore who is above the collector, the superintendent of police or anybody — Dr Kalladka. The control of the whole district is with Prabhakar Bhat Kalladka. I am telling you the truth about what is happening in my district”. Such is the clout enjoyed by Kalladka Prabakar. A core RSS guy, Kalladka, runs the show in the coastal Karnataka.
Be it any communal riot or even a minor incident Kalladka Prabakar Bhat will be in the picture. He will run things through his influence and his writ almost ran across coastal Karnataka. Many seers of various mutts also converged at the Amritadara Gaushala and expressed solidarity. Most of these mutts acted as sleeper cell of BJP and tried to give a twist cow smuggling issue as a direct assault on Hindus. They went to the extent of terming the cow smuggling incidents as a direct threat to the existence of Hindus.
Kalladka Prabakar, descended at the scene and took control of the entire fast and was determined to use this issue to favour the saffron party in the assembly polls which was scheduled for 12th May 2018. Emboldened by the presence of Kalladka Bhat, Rajaram Bhat, refused to budge and continued his fast, add sources in Mangalore.
The next day, Kalladka Bhat gave a speech inside the mutt. In his speech, he openly termed the Indian Constitution as trash and openly called for a revolt without which Hindus can be protected. He openly blamed the Muslim community for the cow smuggling / slaughter and said they all need to be driven away to Pakistan. He also said cows are the essence of life and that if this cow smuggling is not stopped, Hindu society wil not survive. He also went to the extent of saying that if cow smuggling is not stopped immediately, they will start taking away sisters, daughters and mothers in Hindu families.
The district administration smelt trouble. An FIR was registered in Konaje police station under Section 153 (A) (promoting enmity between groups on grounds of religion, race, etc.) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 125 (promoting enmity between classes in connection with election) of the Representation of the People Act 1951. Kalladka Bhat, was also charged with making an inflammatory speech inciting the religious feelings and creating confusions and doubts in the minds of people on the election process and the Election Commission. A detailed report was also sent to the Election Commission about the developments add sources.
Apart from this case, another case was registered in Mulky police station on Sunday against four individuals and six organisations for displaying banners at Haleyangady Junction and Pavanje.
These two FIRs turned the tables. BJP leaders started disassociating with both Kalladka Prabakar and also the cow’s cheer leader Rajaram Bhat. But, Rajaram Bhat, whose task was cut out (inciting communal passion & a riot) was not a person to relent. He refused to discontinue the fast.
Now enters into the picture, Raghaveswara Bharati. He is the head of Ramachandrapura Mutt and he wields tremendous influence in the region. The district administration got in touch with him and asked him to persuade Rajaram Bhat to discontinue the fast. Raghaveswara Bharti has an interesting background. He is a notorious womaniser and he is known to seduce women who come to the mutt and have regular sex with them.
There were two rape complaints against him. The Karnataka police registered an FIR following a rape complaint by one Anshumathi that she was raped by the mutt seer repeatedly. But emboldened by his crazy followers, Ragheswara Bharati dared the police to arrest him. He openly said “have a question for those who come to arrest me, will you arrest the sentiments of thousands of people? Do you have jails to imprison lakhs of hearts?”.
During a hearing in connection with the case against Raghaveswara Bharati, five High Court judges recused from hearing the case. Just imagine his temerity and the clout he enjoys.
Ragiaveswara Bharati too backstabbed the administration. He too encouraged Rajaram Bhat to continue the fast. By this time, the crowd around the mutt swelled to 4000 and news spread fast that the health of Rajaram Bhat, who is fasting to protect cows is deteriorating. Inflammable messages were sent in BJP’s whatsapp groups that due to the instigation of Siddaramaiah, the district administration is planning to allow Rajaram Bhat to die.
By this time, the patience of the Mangalore district administration ran out. A direction was issued to arrest Rajaram Bhat. On 9 April 2018, 8 days after he commenced the fast, Rajaram Bhat was arrested and admitted into a private hospital at Deralakette in Mangalore. Immediately Rajaram’s mobile phone was seized and he was not allowed to communicate with any one. Since it was midnight, there was no crowd for Rajaram to create any drama. He was taken to a private hospital and the hospital was sealed. The hospital was surrounded by policemen and no one was allowed to go in.
The Cow Rakshak, was cowed down. He begged the police and the district administration to give him a face saver. He wanted to end the fast before the District Collector. But, the District Collector point blank said he won’t be part of this drama. But offered him a way out. If he ends his fast, he can end his fast before, Sri Viswatheertha Swamiji of Pejawar Mutt, for which Rajaram agreed.
Sensing that his time and luck has run out and feeling that he has been pushed to a corner, Rajaram Bhat, readily acquiesced. Swamy Viswatheertha came and ended Raguram Bhat’s 8 day old indefinite fast by offering him tender coconut. The Peshawar mutt seer was all praise for Rajaram Bhat for his holy service of protecting the cows.
During the occasion, he spoke, “Rajaram Bhat has fought against cattle theft like Arjuna who fought against cattle thieves in Virat Nagar as explained in the epic, Mahabharat. It is tragic that the government has failed to act against the culprits in spite of knowing their identities very well. Bhat has been fighting for the conservation of cows, and this agitation will continue with more vigour. No irregularities should happen relating to cows. There is a need to protect cows.”
The cat was out of the bag when Rajaram Bhat spoke when he ended his fast.
“All farmers expect BS.Yediyurappa to come to power. Yediyurappa has worked as a farmer’s friend. We have seen his work during his last tenure. He has given a promise of waiving farmer loans. He has given free electricity to farmers. During his tenure, he has given 84,000 crores to farmers as subsidy through various departments. If such wonderful administrator comes back to power, it is for the benefit of Karnataka. BJP’s coming back to power will make the slogan Jay Jay Karnataka true. Let us support Yediyurappa. Let us bring back BJP” was the words spoken by Rajaram Bhat when he ended his fast.
A journalist based in Mangalore who spoke on condition of anonymity said, “But for the timely intervention of the district administration, the BJP / sangh parivar would have hijacked the entire election process with this cow smuggling issue. They were trying to use the cow smuggling issue as their trump card to flare up communal tension and polarise the entire state. The BJP was in fact considered this as a time tested formula. The active presence of Socialist Democratic Party of India (SDPI) / Popular Front of India (PFI) helped the sangh parivar to a large extent in this polaraisation. (The SDPI is a militant Muslim outfit which too thrives in communal tensions). The BJP could have easily swung the elections in their favour.
With the results now known, this Mangalore incident could have easily tilted the electorate in BJP’s favour and ensured 120 plus seats.”
After the huge success of UP assembly polls, Amit Shah thundered “BJP partymen should work to ensure BJP’s win from Panchayats to Parliament”.
Apart from failing to polarise the Karnataka electorate along communal lines, Amit Shah’s magic has also failed in post-poll maneuverings and he and Modi had to eat humble pie.
South India will continue to give night mares to the Modi – Shah duo in 2019 too.