Islamic Terrorism in India

Most Muslims are not terrorists, but most terrorists are Muslims

Fake Shankaracharya loved by the Muslims, Christians and Communists

Posted by jagoindia on August 27, 2008

India Today, October 14, 2002

Monk With a Motive

Even a court order on his dubious status does not deter a loud-mouthed swami from launching an anti-Hindu tirade. India Today’s Uday Mahurkar explains why.

In the true Hindu tradition it is said that a monk has to have
amrutvani (sweet voice). In the case of Swami Adhokshajanand Tirth, a self-proclaimed monk, the opposite may be the case. When he speaks about his rivals, words like kamine (rogue) and laffange (scoundrel) come easy to his lips. He is a favourite of not just the Congress, the communists and other sundry secularists but also, as the BJP gleefully points out, of
the Hurriyat Conference in Kashmir. Strangely enough, for a
Sankaracharya he has even won praise from Pakistani newspapers like The Nation.

The 32-year-old Adhokshajanand claims to be the true Shankaracharya of the Govardhan math in Puri but an Orissa High Court order has asked him to stay away from one km radius of the math. After dubbing the RSS and the VHP as terrorist organisations, he has now pitched a tent in Vaasan, the native village of Gujarat Congress chief Shankarsinh Vaghela who is trying to take over from Narendra Modi as chief minister. Politics, it seems, is in this swami’s blood.

Adhokshajanand says he decided, of his own accord, to observe
chaturmas—the four months (mid-July to mid-November) of the Hindu calender during which the devout offer penance by fasting-in Vaasan. But the buzz is that he is there at Vaghela’s behest. He is expected to launch a “Shanti Yatra” after chaturmas to supplement Vaghela’s strategy to the counter the BJP with his brand of “soft” saffron. “I am not one of those babas who will flee. I will punish kukarmis (sinners) who have destroyed peace in Gujarat,” he thunders, waving his stick. “Modi, Pravin Togadia, Ashok Singhal—everyone will be punished for their crimes in the court of religion.” Though the monk has been campaigning in Vaasan for some time now, the spotlight turned on him only last week for two reasons. P.N. Mishra, personal advisor of Swami Nischalandji who has been recognised as
the real Shankaracharya of Puri by the Orissa High Court, filed a police case against the swami for propagating himself as the math head despite the court ruling. The second reason is the obvious indications Adhokshajanand has been giving of the role he will play in the elections. He has used every available platform to lash out at RSS-backed outfits.

At one such function sponsored by the Congress-ruled Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC), he was honoured by, among others, Vaghela and Mayor Himmatsinh Patel. In the complaint, the monk is called a trickster, an anti-national and is charged with having links with ISI-sponsored organisations. Says Mishra, a Kolkata-based lawyer: “The investigation agencies should probe his source
of funds. That will bring out the truth.” But the swami is unfazed.
“Nischalanand is a Shikhandi of the VHP and its cohorts who are
as much terrorists as the ones in Kashmir or Palestine. They are
levelling charges through him,” he says. “Their single-point programme is to discredit me because I am exposing their deeds.”
The company that the controversial monk keeps indeed raises
eyebrows. Before he went to Kashmir last year, he alleged that the Indian Government was trying to prevent his visit “because it did not want the rest of India to know about the true situation in Kashmir”. Once there, he said, “I am shocked by the situation in the Valley where innocent people are being killed and the modesty of sisters and daughter isn’t safe.” He also endorsed
the Hurriyat’s charge of atrocities by security personnel and lashed out at Delhi for not starting a dialogue with the separatists. He also visited the homes of Kashmiri terrorists killed by security forces. His stand on Kashmir and other issues is penned in his publication Paigam-Rahbar where he calls Palestinian terrorists as freedom fighters and Israel a “terrorist state”. On Kashmir, he justifies his stand saying, “Whenever a voice is being raised against injustice to Kashmiris I will support it. A criminal is a criminal whether a Hindu or a Muslim.” Such actions and statements have ensured him the support of rabidly anti-national outfits in the Valley. While he uses the choicest epithets for Hindutva elements, he is unusually soft while talking about Muslim fundamentalists, prompting his rivals to ask
whether “he is saint of the Hindus or the Islamic radicals”. Says Togadia, international general secretary of the VHP: “The VHP speaks against any Hindu saint when we disagree with him, but our ultimate aim is Hindu unity. Adhokshajanand is a big fraud.
He is serving the political interests of anti-Hindu politicians.” Thus, on the Godhra massacre, for instance, the monk’s view should warm the cockles of secularists and Muslim organisations, not to speak of Pakistani fundamentalists. “It is the VHP which killed the ramsevaks in Godhra in order to trigger a Hindu wave. After they lost in Uttar Pradesh, they had no option but to resort to such tactics.” Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba founder Hafiz Saiyad had levelled the same charge in an article he wrote recently. Vaghela too parroted the same charge until a worried Congress leadership, fearing a Hindu backlash, asked him to stop. Says Vaghela: “I didn’t invite Adhokshajanand to Gujarat. He came on his own. If he is willing to join the battle against the VHP and the Hindutva bodies, why should we shun him?” For one muddying the electoral waters in Gujarat, Adhokshajanand’s origins lie in the distant Fatehpur district of Uttar Pradesh. He studied Sanskrit in Kashi and ended up in the inner circle of known VHP baiter and Congress supporter Mahant Gyandas of Hanumangarhi in Ayodhya. In the mid-1990s when the then prime minister P.V. Narasimha Rao was trying to raise an alternative Hindu leadership, his emissary N.K. Sharma spotted Adhokshajanand. Soon, he was declared the Puri Shankaracharya by the Vidvat Parishad, a Kashi-based body, though Nischalanand was given that status by his predecessor Niranjandev Tirth in the early 1990s. It was, however, only after Niranjandev’s death in 1996 that Adhokshajanand made a claim to the math. He claims, “I was declared Shankaracharya by Guru Niranjandev Tirthji before he passed away.”

Last March, when the Shankaracharya of Kanchi Peeth,
Jayendra Saraswati, offered to mediate on the Ayodhya tangle, Adhokshajanand dubbed him a VHP-tilting saint. And in July at a symposium in Washington organised by the Policy Institute for Religion and State, he earned the ire of a large number of NRIs when he lashed out at Hindutva organisations. Incidentally,
the institute had sent a formal invitation to him addressed as
“the Shankaracharya of Puri, one of the four supreme heads of the Hindu religion” even though the court order has asked him to keep a distance from the math. Once the Gujarat elections are over, Adhokshajanand plans to visit the US again. “I am going to spread my message against these Hindu rogues,” he says. If the State Department is alert, perhaps it will notice that a recent entry in the self-styled swami’s passport shows a visit to Tripoli, where he was a guest of the Libyan despot Mohammed Gaddafi.

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