Karkare’s True Nationalism: A Lesson for Hypocrite ‘Nationalists’

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While India is passing through its 15th general elections, the only terrorist caught alive in the Mumbai terror attack last year, is facing trial. The whole nation is desperate to see him hanged. People like me are of the view that he should be publicly hanged at the gateway of India in front of the Taj hotel building which witnessed one of the horrible terror attacks on India, so that the world community can see the consequence of challenging the nation’s unity, integrity and prosperity. Hopefully, soon the trial would be completed and he would be hanged.

When we talk about the 26/11 attacks, it becomes imperative to remember those five police officers who along with their fourteen colleagues, lost their lives in fighting the terrorists. One important name among them is of the 1982 batch, Indian Police Services (IPS) officer, 54 year old Hemant Karkare. Karkare was the chief of Mumbai Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS).

Karkare served the police force for 26 years. He also worked as a Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) officer in Austria for seven years. He came into the limelight when he unmasked an alleged saffron network of terror by arresting Lt. Col. Prasad Shrikant Purohit, sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, and self styled godman Dayanand Pandey in connection with the Malegaon bomb blast. But perhaps the self appointed contractors of the saffron politics didn’t like it. Instead of supporting the rule of law, the hypocrite nationalists started targeting Hemant Karkare. When sadhvi, in her affidavit to the court, alleged her harassment by the ATS, especially its chief Hemant Karkare, the people sympathetic to sadhvi started publicly criticizing the ATS and its chief Karkare.

Brave Police O

Nationalist organisations like Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS), Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Shivsena assumed the allegations of sadhvi were true, ignoring the repudiation of allegations by Karkare. These saffron organizations, even the BJP’s ‘Prime Minister in waiting’ Lal Krishan Advani, supporting sadhvi, demanded an inquiry into the allegations.

BJP president Rajnath Singh and other leaders of the party demanded that there should be the Narco Analysis test of Karkare, who requested the tests on sadhvi. Some so called ‘nationalists’ called Hemant Karkare the agent of the Congress and some alleged he was working under someone’s pressure.

According to the whole ATS team, Karkare would direct his personnel that in order to make the case effective, they don’t indulge in collecting any wrong or baseless evidence. He would say that the whole case should be inquired with full transparency, honesty and impartially and it is up to the court to decide the fate of the accused.

All clarifications by Karkare were ignored by the saffron ‘nationalists’ and they started accusing Karkare. Consequently, he was hurt by the fake accusations against him. According to *J.F. Ribeiro*, former Police Commissioner of Mumbai, Karkare was so much tensed by the false allegations put on him. Another former IPS officer Sudhakar Suradkar, who daily used to meet Karkare during morning walk, told that Karkare seemed to be perturbed after the false allegations on him and it seemed that he was facing mental strain.

ATS chief Martyre Hemant Karkare

Pride of the nation, this police officer was trying to get complete the inquiry into Malegaon Bomb blasts and had just arrested eleven people in this connection, meanwhile the 26/11 attacks on Mumbai occurred by trained Pakistani terrorists. Although hurt by the criticism of the fake nationalists, this brave officer once again, filled with true nationalism went to fight the terrorists.

To counter the terrorists quickly, he lead his colleagues. Fighting them, he was hit by a terrorist bullet and this brave officer was martyred protecting his nation. This martyrdom of Hemant Karkare shut the mouths of the hypocrite ‘nationalists’. Those leaders who accused Karkare of being partial in the Malegaon investigation and supported the culprits of the blast, had nothing to say.

Currently, the face of development of the BJP, the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi announced the financial help of one crore rupees to the family of the martyr. By doing so, he tried to participate in the nationwide sympathetic wave in favour of Karkare and also tried to veil the criticism of Karkare by the BJP just two days before his martyrdom. But the family of Karkare, by rejecting the offer of financial help proved that martyrdom can’t be measured in terms of money. Besides the message given by Karkare’s family was that those who criticized and doubted the impartial working of Hemant Karkare, need not show any sympathy now.

Four phases of elections are left yet. Once again the so called ‘nationalist’ forces which raised the finger on the impartial working of martyr Hemant Karkare, are going to the people for votes.

Somewhere the ‘Hindutva’ is being propagated and somewhere votes are being asked in the name of ancient culture and civilization and somewhere by showing the picture of development. Different formulae are being used to garner votes at different places, according to suitability. The main aim of all this is to get power.

The main proof of it is the declaration of ‘Prime Minister in Waiting’, far before the elections, in a democracy, that too in the era of coalition politics. Now it is for the Indian voter to ask these self styled ‘nationalists’, what was their basis of questioning the honesty of Hemant Karkare? What was their objective behind it?

Who are the true nationalists? People like Hemant Karkare, who gave their lives for the nation, or these fake nationalist leaders who abuse martyrs like Hemant Karkare, act with partiality and divide the nation in the name of religion?

Tanveer Jafri is an award-winning journalist and peace activist, based in India, covering communal harmony and social activities.