KS Bhagwan, a retired professor from the Mysore University, is a critic of Hindutva groups such as the Bajrang Dal. (HT Photo)
KS Bhagwan, a retired professor from the Mysore University, is a critic of Hindutva groups such as the Bajrang Dal. (HT Photo)

You can attack us but our works will live on: Prof KS Bhagwan

After a Bajrang Dal threatened Prof KS Bhagwan, the rationalist told HT that he was not afraid of such intimidations. He also challenged the Hindutva group leader for a debate. Here's what he told out Bengaluru correspondent Sudipto Mondal.
By Prof KS Bhagwan | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON SEP 03, 2015 09:34 PM IST

After a Bajrang Dal threatened retired Mysore University professor KS Bhagwan with dire consequences, the rationalist told HT that he was not afraid of such intimidations. He also challenged the Hindutva group leader for a debate. Here's what he told our Bengaluru correspondent Sudipto Mondal in the wake of scholar MM Kalburgi's assassination.

Hours after my friend and one of Karnataka's leading intellectuals, Prof MM Kalburgi, was shot dead at his home in Dharwad, a young man from Mangalore belonging to the Bajrang Dal tweeted that I am the next target.

I feel sorry for the young man. It is clear that he has been misled. His parents, teachers and elders have obviously not guided him properly.

I want to talk to the young man and engage him in an intellectual debate. He should write down all his objections to my work and sit with me. I would like him to come and meet me at my home in Mysore as I am now too old to travel to meet him. If he has facts to challenge my scholarship, I will be more than happy to change my position. But I am not going to stop my work just because he threatens to kill me.

I want to say this to the people who killed Prof Kalburgi, Govind Pansare and Narendra Dabholkar, and are now threatening to kill me: You can attack us and tear us to pieces but our works will live on. They can kill me but that won't change my stand.

They must also know that I am not scared of them. Threats are nothing new to people such as Prof Kalburgi and me. I was first threatened in 1985 when I released my book 'Shankaracharya and Reactionary Philosophy'. My research showed that far from being a social reformer, the Shankaracharya was a strong advocate of the caste system. By going through the text of his teachings in Sanskrit, I could prove that he was vehemently opposed to Dalits and women getting educated. The traditionalists and fundamentalists who threatened to kill me then never bothered to read my work or challenge me on facts.

My friendship with Prof Kalburgi goes back to those turbulent years of my life when I was dragged to the courts for blasphemy. Coincidentally, the same year Prof Kalburgi had submitted a major research paper where he found that Channabasavanna, the nephew of 12th century social reformer Basavanna, was adopted. He was under severe threat from Lingayat fundamentalists for whom Channabasavanna is a holy figure.

We met for the first time during that period at a conference. The moment Prof Kalburgi was introduced to me, he gave me a tight hug and said, "You and I are are sailing in the same boat." We both had a hearty laugh and remained close friends ever since.

My regard for him only grew with time. What attracted me to Prof Kalburgi was that he was not merely an armchair intellectual. He moved among the people and was forever sensitive to their suffering. He spoke about the most oppressed sections of society and was a voice of the voiceless. I loved him as a man of honour and as a scholar. His work will live long after all of us are dead and gone.

Read: Karnataka: Rationalist and scholar MM Kalburgi shot dead

Kalburgi murder: Bajrang Dal leader says another rationalist next

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
MK Stalin said he aspired to bring Tamil Nadu among the top three agricultural states in terms of cash crops.
MK Stalin said he aspired to bring Tamil Nadu among the top three agricultural states in terms of cash crops.

DMK finalises seat-sharing deal with seven allies in TN

By Divya Chandrababu, Hindustan Times, Trichy
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 03:37 AM IST
  • Addressing a state conference for its cadres on the outskirts of Trichy, Stalin said a DMK government will give 1,000 every month to housewives and create a million jobs every month.
Close
Tewari, one of the 23 leaders who wrote a letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi seeking internal reform in the party, addressed the Kerala meeting at the invitation of the Congress’s ally, Indian Union Muslim League.
Tewari, one of the 23 leaders who wrote a letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi seeking internal reform in the party, addressed the Kerala meeting at the invitation of the Congress’s ally, Indian Union Muslim League.

After Jammu G23 meet, Tewari hits campaign

By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Tmes, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 03:17 AM IST
  • The meeting came a week after Tewari and other letter writers, the group has been tagged the G23, addressed a meeting in Jammu in honour of retired MP Ghulam Nabi Azad.
Close
In Puducherry, where the party lost power weeks ago, 70 people have hit the ground with the same goal.(PTI)
In Puducherry, where the party lost power weeks ago, 70 people have hit the ground with the same goal.(PTI)

Over 300 people try to gauge mood for Cong in TN, Kerala

PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 03:12 AM IST
  • In Tamil Nadu, the Congress is in alliance with the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham (DMK).
Close
Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu were identified by the Centre as the six regions that have seen a rise in new cases in the recent weeks.(REUTERS)
Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu were identified by the Centre as the six regions that have seen a rise in new cases in the recent weeks.(REUTERS)

6 states continue to record spike in Covid cases: Centre

By Rhythma Kaul, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 01:22 AM IST
  • The observations from the Union health ministry come a day after the country reported the largest single-day increase in new Covid-19 infections in two months.
Close
Union minister Smriti Irani addresses a press conference, in New Delhi. (PTI)
Union minister Smriti Irani addresses a press conference, in New Delhi. (PTI)

‘Women are not pleading, they are leading’: Smriti Irani

By Vinod Sharma, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 08, 2021 12:53 AM IST
  • Smriti Irani says, "I’m the only female politician who’s also recognised by her former vocation. I recognise the bias in that."
Close
Another senior official said on condition of anonymity that the second half of the session, which starts on Monday, may run for just two weeks.(PTI)
Another senior official said on condition of anonymity that the second half of the session, which starts on Monday, may run for just two weeks.(PTI)

2nd half of Budget session may be cut short due to state polls

By Saubhadra Chatterji, Sunetra Choudhury, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 08, 2021 12:40 AM IST
  • An official said that both Houses could meet at 11 am from the second week following the vaccination of eligible MPs.
Close
Bodies of the man and his son were found in the house while the bodies of the three woman were found near the house, the official added.
Bodies of the man and his son were found in the house while the bodies of the three woman were found near the house, the official added.

Five of family found dead in Chhattisgarh

By Ritesh Mishra, Hindustan Times, Raipur
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 12:27 AM IST
  • A suicide note found at the spot said they took the decision because of acute financial distress, an official said.
Close
Parliament in September 2020 approved an Ordinance promulgated in June to improve revenue from the mining sector and the Centre now wants states to carry out these changes too.(REUTERS)
Parliament in September 2020 approved an Ordinance promulgated in June to improve revenue from the mining sector and the Centre now wants states to carry out these changes too.(REUTERS)

Govt plan to take over mine auctions faces opposition from a few states

By Chetan Chauhan, Gerard de Souza, Hindustan Times, New Delhi, Goa
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 12:21 AM IST
  • The changes have been opposed by some states who see it as another attempt by the Centre to take over mining auctions and impose central rules on a state domain.
Close
India must rapidly build and nurture grassroots-based habitat monitoring and governance.(Representational Photo/HT File)
India must rapidly build and nurture grassroots-based habitat monitoring and governance.(Representational Photo/HT File)

India must strive to catch the ecological bus

By Bharati Chaturvedi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 12:16 AM IST
  • A re-invigorated biodiversity management policy is India’s survival strategy. At this point in our development trajectory, we don’t pay any heed to either biodiversity or landscape conservation.
Close
Satellite image of NASA's Fire Information for Resource Management System of forest fires.(Courtesy- NASA)
Satellite image of NASA's Fire Information for Resource Management System of forest fires.(Courtesy- NASA)

Early summer, lack of rain spark fires

By Jayashree Nandi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 12:10 AM IST
  • According to Forest Survey of India’s forest fire alert system, there were 2,317 fire points last year between February 26 and March 7, but the figure rose to 53,211 this time after data from the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (SNPP) was taken into account.
Close
Selvi at the age of 32 rappelled down blindfolded from a 155 feet high rock mountain in a Tamil Nadu village(Representative Image )
Selvi at the age of 32 rappelled down blindfolded from a 155 feet high rock mountain in a Tamil Nadu village(Representative Image )

Woman, 32, mother of two rappels down 155-feet mountain blindfolded in 58 sec

ANI, Kancheepuram
UPDATED ON MAR 07, 2021 11:54 PM IST
The record was entered in the UNICO Book of World Records and was certified by an official adjudicator R. Sivaraman.
Close
The incident took place in Transit Camp Colony of Rudrapur on February 19, 2019, when the boy went missing, Gupta said.(HT file photo)
The incident took place in Transit Camp Colony of Rudrapur on February 19, 2019, when the boy went missing, Gupta said.(HT file photo)

24-yr-old man gets death for rape, murder of 5-yr-old boy

By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Rudrapur
UPDATED ON MAR 08, 2021 12:56 AM IST
Special Pocso judge Vijay Laxmi Vihan also awarded four years of imprisonment to the father of the accused and three years to his mother for concealing the crime, Vikas Gupta, special assistant district government counsel, said.
Close
A charge sheet against the man was also filed in April 2018, prompting him to approach the Allahabad high court for getting the FIR quashed.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)
A charge sheet against the man was also filed in April 2018, prompting him to approach the Allahabad high court for getting the FIR quashed.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

Every breach of promise to marry doesn’t mean rape: SC

By Utkarsh Anand, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 08, 2021 01:05 AM IST
An SC bench of justices Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud and MR Shah elucidated the legal position while exonerating a 30-year-old man of the rape charge under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code.
Close
HT Image
HT Image

Women are not pleading, they’re leading: Smriti Irani

By Vinod Sharma
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 10:57 PM IST
New Delhi: On the eve of the International Women’s Day, union minister for women and child development Smriti Irani spoke to HT on the challenges and opportunities the women have in the country, her role as a minister and the BJP’s battle axe against the Congress
Close
"The state government is taking a series of measures to take women on the path of development and progress," K Chandrasekhar Rao said. (HT File photo)
"The state government is taking a series of measures to take women on the path of development and progress," K Chandrasekhar Rao said. (HT File photo)

Telangana government declares holiday for women employees on Women's Day

ANI, Hyderabad, Telangana
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 10:55 PM IST
"Women are competing with men in all the fields and are excelling. Women, who constitute 50 per cent of the population, would do wonders if they were given a chance," Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao said.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP