Odisha: FIR filed against Gandhian Kumar Prashant for criticising the RSS
August 22, 2019
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) organizers have filed two FIRs in two different police stations in Odisha accusing Gandhi Peace Foundation (GPF) chief Kumar Prashant of spreading falsehoods about the RSS, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar and of “conspiring against the nation”.
Citing media reports on “Gandhi Katha” Prashant addressed in Bhubaneswar from August 16 to 18, both the FIRs charged the Gandhian thinker with spreading falsehoods about the RSS and inciting the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
The first of the two FIRs were lodged at the Adarsh police station in Phulbani, the headquarters of the communally sensitive Kandhamal district, on Monday while the second was registered at the Lalbag police station of Cuttack the following day.
Prashant was in the state capital to address “Gandhi Katha” at the invitation of the organising committee set up by the Odisha government for the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi.
The Gandhian thinker had said the RSS played no role in India’s freedom struggle and that Savarkar had actually collaborated with the British to get out of the Cellular jail in Andaman.
He had described the abrogation of Article 370 an ‘undemocratic’ measure taken without taking the people of Jammu and Kashmir into confidence. He also likened the move to what Mohammed Ali Jinnah did to partition the country.
“Gandhi Peace Foundation chief Kumar Prashant has sown the seeds of discord by denigrating ‘Veer Savarkar’ whose portrait adorns the Central Hall of Parliament and describing Udham Singh, who laid down his life for the country, as a ‘criminal’,” the identical FIRs said. The FIR in Phulbani was signed by Bhagaban Mohanty, advocate while the one in Cuttack was signed by Biswarajan Swain also an advocate.
RSS state spokesperson Ravinarayan Panda said both the FIRs were lodged by individuals who are members of the Sangh.
“Kumar Prashant is a learned man. He should not mislead the people about the RSS and its icons. He should read the relevant literature which would enlighten him about the role the organization played in the Quit India movement. He should also know that Hedgewar was an eminent Congress leader before he broke off to form the RSS in 1925,” Panda said.
Reacting to the allegations of the RSS, Biswajit Roy, state convenor of Gandhi Peace Foundation, said; “Prashant ji is not falsifying history. It is all in the public domain. RSS was conspicuous by its absence in the freedom struggle. And is it not a fact that the decision on abrogation of Article 370 was imposed on the people of Jammu and Kashmir without taking them into confidence? So where is the falsehood?”
First published in The Leaflet.
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