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Sanatan Sanstha lock horns with Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti

Sanatan Sanstha the Hindu organization which is recently under attack for Dabholkar’s killing,  has alleged that the Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti activists who are shrouding behind the rationalism and shouting hoarse ‘Jawab Do’ all over the State just to create pressure on the investigation of killing of Narendra Dabholkar are maintaining studied silence over the scams perpetrated by their trust. The outfit believes ANiS should reply about what happened to the huge money donated to them by the people only by keeping faith in Dabholkar. In this connection, one more major scam has come to the light involving ANiS Trust. A progressive thinker in Pune Prof. G.P. Pradhan had merged the entire property of his Vasudha Manovikas Pratishthan in the Trust of Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti.

Dr. Narendra Dabholkar had issued the statement accordingly under his own signature in 2012. However, the ANiS Trust has not shown this property anywhere in its assets. There are many rational thinkers like him who have donated money to this NGO but they don’t maintain transparency on contributions and expenditures made by them. Now the Sanstha doubts that the killing of Dabholkar took place out of the dispute created over usurping the property, the trace of which is still a mystery. Why is ANiS not making efforts to ensure that the punishment is meted out to Khandelwal-Nagori under whose possession of the gun used to kill Dabholkar was found. What can be the purpose behind this?

Whereas ANiS has openly declared that it is a voluntary organization working through 310 branches located in rural and urban Maharashtra, Belgaum in Karnataka and Goa. It does not receive foreign or government funding. It’s a People’s movement working solely on support of the people and for the people. Sadhana Trust name also feature among thousands of others in list; but Hamid Dabholkar the son of Late Dr Narendra Dabholkar says they had already cancelled their registrations

In a first, the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (MANS) and Sadhana Trust — non-governmental organisations (NGOs) founded by late Dabholkar that crusade against superstition and social stigmas — seem to be on the wrong side of the law. Both are under the scanner of the Foreigners division of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for alleged violation of the Foreign Contribution (regulation) Act (FCRA), 2010. The MHA issued a show cause notice to MANS and Sadhana Trust, headquartered in Pune, along with 5,922 other NGOs all across the country, for failing to upload the annual return form since 2010. Earlier in May, these NGOs had received notices to submit their missing annual returns pertaining to the financial years from 2010-11 to 2015-16 within a month, but they reportedly did not pay any heed to the warning.

Dr Hamid Dabholkar, MANS general secretary fervidly denied being indulging in wrongful activities. He maintained that the entire list of MHA is based on an old record which has not been updated, despite the cancellation of their registration four years ago. After constant allegations, they already informed the MHA and surrendered our FCRA registration in 2013 itself. He was very vocal in telling that they have not been receiving any foreign funds for four years since 2010. But till 2010, they have not published the source of funds or the expenditures done against it. The organizers of the trust have become richer. After Dabholkar’s murder they gained lot of sympathy, publicity and donations. Forget about Sanatan Sanstha, even otherwise they are answerable to the people about where and how the funds are received and spent.

The rational fundamentals created uproar about suppressing the voice in the country under freedom of expressions. They say the battle of ideology should be fought only with ideology. When it comes to practicality the approach of various people differs. It’s high time that the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (ANiS) should openly come forward and put a light on their functioning, spending and funding. They should be more clean and clear on their stand. Whereas the killer of Dabholkar and other rationalists of country are concerned, police is declaring lakhs of rewards of various heads but they themselves failed to nab them. Those who are accused and arrested for killing are detained for trial; let the law take its decision.

Sanatan Sanstha is a non-profit organisation founded in 1990. It is totally based on spirituality. Dr. Jayant Balaji Athavale is the Source of Inspiration and H. Bhaktaraj Maharaj . The former (H. H. Bhuranand baba) became a sanyasi staying in a small cottage at Mehtakhedi near Badwah in M.P. and practiced penance for years together on the banks of the river Narmada serving countless sadhus and sanyasis who visited his cottage. The main objective of the organisation is to present Spirituality in a scientific language to those curious about Spirituality and to guide seekers. Sanatan Sanstha has various centres in different parts of India. They are alleged for promoting superstitions by so called seculars, rather atheists.

In 1980s “Pune Branch of Peoples Science Movement” invited B Premanand, a wandering rationalist’ for a lecture cum demonstration of ‘miracles’ in Pune. Dr. Dabholkar was quite impressed with the demo. He and his friends in Pune decided to conduct similar demos in and around Pune. There was some spark which made him to take plunge into such a movement. With his excellent communication skill he was requested to shoulder the responsibilities of coordinator of the movement. In 1989, the flexible set up which Dr. Dabholkar was heading became and known as Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (ANiS) and they intentionally chose to work in Marathi speaking areas. In no time Dr. Dabholkar became the working president as the activities spread in 17-18 branches. And today ANiS has more than 200 branches all over Maharashtra, Goa and some in Karnataka too. They oppose and agitate against harmful superstitions and rituals which misguide and exploit. They believe in inculcating and propagating scientific outlook, scepticism, humanism and critical thinking. He shaped the organisation in such a way that the activists would lead a good and fruitful life while they continued to be ANiS activists and even after they leave it.

Before these events of killings, Sanatan Sanstha had grabbed headlines after the Panvel, Thane and Vashi blasts that took place in Maharashtra in 2007. The Mumbai ATS had chargesheeted six members of the Sanatan Sanstha and its front, the Hindu Janjagruti Samiti, in connection with the blasts.

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Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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