Leader of the opposition in the assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil and other Congress leaders demanded immediate ban on Sanatan Sanstha following the arrest of its member Samir Gaikwad in the Govind Pansare murder case. Sanatan Sanstha is not in the news for the first time, time and again the ban has been demanded against them. With the arrest of one of its full-time members on September 16 in connection with the murder of veteran Communist leader Pansare in Kolhapur, people became angry against the sanstha. Pansare was shot at by some unidentified men on February 16 and died four days later in Mumbai. Sanatan is a spiritual organization but misinterpreted as terror outfit these days.
The Sanatan Sanstha is a non-profit organization, founded in 1990 by Jayant Balaji Athavale and is based on the study of spirituality as a science. Athavale has worked in the field of spirituality to share with humanity the findings of his research into the deeper understanding of the spiritual dimension using a scientific approach. In order to achieve this end, he has published more than 1.6 million copies of spiritual books in Hindi, Marathi, Kannada, Gujarati, English and six other languages since 2002.
Athavale dedicated all of his life to introduce a human to his divine nature through spiritual awakening. He has reformed the Sanstha with some misguided men to bind them with transcendent teaching of Hindutva. Unfortunately, few years back a dramatic and strange raid was conducted by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) at Sanatan Sanstha’s headquarters in Goa’s Ponda. The group of police officials just barged in asked all the members of Aashram to stand in line, and the filming was done on each face. Then, they went to each room opened all cupboards and searched something, without questioning or talking to anyone, three hours police ransacked the whole ashram and went off without giving any reason. NIA officials raided the residential as well as official quarters of the ashram at Ramnathi. Sanstha members have been chargesheeted for carrying out blasts in Goa as well as several parts of Maharashtra over the last few years. The raid followed alleged attempts made by the Maharashtra government to ban the Sanatan Sanstha, for the organisation’s involvement in various alleged illegal activities which included a bomb blast in a Thane cinema hall in 2008 and other blasts in other districts of Maharashtra. Six members of Sanatan Sanstha were arrested for planting bombs outside an auditorium in Thane, and Vashi. In 2011, two of the accused were found guilty and sentenced to ten years’ incarceration. Even though Ramesh Gadkari and Vikram Bhave were acquitted of the terror charges under the stringent UAPA, still the Maharashtra government has sought to ban the organization, and has pressed the case for a ban to the central government as well. However, after investigating the 2009 Goa blast case for two years; on 31 December 2013, the Special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court acquitted all six members of Sanatan Sanstha.
Judgment of trail court is further challenged in the Bombay High Court and on 2 May 2013 court ordered to release the accused on bail.
Public interest litigations have been filed in the Bombay High Court seeking ban on Sanatan Sanstha stating that the organisation uses a technique called Ericksonian hypnosis (a technique whereby individuals as well as masses in the society can be hypnotised), to lure people into joining it and carry out acts of violence.
Previously (when UPA was in power at both the places center and state) then state Government recommended the ban, but the central government has sought additional information. The state government has been asked to provide additional information regarding the nature of cases against the Sanatan Sanstha members. Even, the Maharashtra police had suggested to the state government that the Sanatan Sanstha be included in the category of banned terrorist organisations. In spite of all the investigations and accusations, so far police or intelligence agencies could not prove them guilty. Congress Government in Maharashtra and Goa even tried to suppress the voice of devoted Journalism (Sanatan Prabhat) and the organization which teaches about Hindu religion, forgetting that they are just the guards of Hindu religion.
Actually ‘Sanatan Prabhat’ is first on the list of all the devoted journals suffered due to suppression! Fanatics and anti-Dharma people are being criticized by ‘Sanatan Prabhat’. The so called secular political parties are scared of such publications and Hindu groups, that’s the reason they raise the demand to ban ‘Sanatan Prabhat’.
‘Sanatan Prabhat’ used to get advertisement worth Rs. 19 lacs from ‘Information and Publicity Department’ and other Government Departments on an average of 4 years which is absolutely negligible means about 1/10th. According to the government plan government advertisements are given to all the newspapers, on account of National Days, National Festivals; but Dainik Sanatan Prabhat’ appears to be an exception. Rejecting advertisements from ‘Information and Publicity Department’ on the occasions of Ganesh Chaturthi, Diwali, Goa Liberation Day, so they wanted to restrain it financially. Sanatan Sanstha and Sanatan Prabhat were always on the UPA leaders’ target. They had not succeeded in their ill intentions as there was nothing to prove against the organization. Let’s see, how long the secular forces keep trying against one spiritual organization and its people.