An Open Letter to Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah: Prashant Poojary’s Death Matters

I am writing this letter addressed to the honorable Chief Minister of Karnataka, Siddaramaiah, as a plea for justice for a grieving family. At the conclusion of Pitru Paksha 2015, a modest flower merchant family in Moodbidri, Karnataka mourned the loss of their son, Prashant Poojary. While in most families sons and daughters were offering Shraadh prayers for their deceased parents and ancestors, the unfortunate Poojary family had to perform the funeral rituals for their 29-year-old son, Prashant. Can there be a more unfortunate life than that in which parents outlive their children? I urge CM Siddaramaiah to join me in chanting the following Shanti Mantra for the departed Atma of Prashant:

Om Asato Maa Sadgamaya
Tamaso Maa Jyotir Gamaya
Mrityor Maa Amritam Gamaya
Om Shantih Shantih Shantih

Well, what happened?

Prashant Poojary came from a devout Sanatan Dharmic family which was in the business of selling flowers in Moodbidri, Karnataka. This young man was also involved in organized efforts to stop illegal slaughter and smuggling of cows. As per mainstream media, this man was guilty of being a member of the Bajrang Dal. The Hindu wrote that Prashant Poojary was “allegedly” murdered in a market. The Hindu describes this “alleged” murder as follows:

“According to the information reaching here, six persons in two motorcycles came to the market around 7 a.m. when Prashant Poojary (29), the deceased, and his father were selling flowers. They attacked Poojary with sharp weapons and fled, even as he collapsed on the road.”

The Hindu was also very careful to not mention the names or religion(s) of the “alleged” attackers. Prashant’s father provided the names of the “alleged” attackers to the local police. When The Hindu tried to confirm this, the police “apparently” did not want to comment on the matter. The regional convener of Bajrang Dal, Sharan Pumpwell, has demanded that the police take action. Failure to do so would result in agitation. Additional Director-General of Police, Alok Mohan, assured the public with this statement to The Hindu:

“We are on the trail of offenders. They will be arrested soon”

The Hindu carefully crafted the narrative in this case as just another Hindu fundamentalist member of Bajrang Dal who was taking the law in his own hands to shove cow protection down the throats of law-abiding butchers. Poojary was simply the “victim” of his own doing. He was “allegedly” murdered by attackers using sharp weapons. These attackers also do not seem to have names or identified religions. I sincerely trust that the honorable CM is paying close attention to these details.

The Hindu’s treatment of Dadri vs Moodbidri

I would like to bring to the kind attention of Karnataka’s CM the way in which the narrative of the Dadri incident was painted and created by The Hindu. The “allegedly” highly reputed newspaper had no qualms in mentioning the religion of the mob that “allegedly” attacked Akhlaq. Actually, the glorious newspaper did not mince words. It clearly stated that a “Hindu and anti-national” mob murdered Akhlaq. No “presumption of innocence before being proven guilty” privileges were afforded to the “mob”. The Hindu’s Chapal Mehra went so far as to defend beef-eating as a normal “Hindu practice” that contemporary Hindus have “conveniently” forgotten. Mehra continues to narrate that beef-eating was not introduced in India by Muslims. The cow has been incorrectly appropriated as the national animal that defines India, Hinduism, and Majoritarianism. All of these things, according to Mehra, put India’s delicate yet unique plurality at risk. This is how the “Left” views the Dadri incident. The same “Left” also sees Prashant Poojary’s “alleged” murder as just a random death that has nothing to do with the debate regarding what it means to be Indian.

Chapal Mehra of The Hindu writes with such conviction and authority that beef consumption is definitely a Kosher activity and habit for Hindus. So to oppose it and to use mobs to enforce this opposition is pure hypocrisy. What if Chapal Mehra might be wrong and has no knowledge of Sanskrit, the Vedas and Tantric treatises? What if Chapal Mehra is guilty of selective outrage? What if mainstream media, celebrities, law and enforcement and political outfits are all guilty of selective outrage to two similar incidents (Dadri+Moodbidri)? What if Muslim groups are guilty of purposely enraging Hindu sentiments because they can with their special status in so-called democratic India (Asiya Andrabi and Owaisis come to mind)?

I would urge Chapal Mehra to please visit the website of Agniveer to read a detailed article called: “There is no Beef in Vedas”. At least this way, Mehra could have a balanced view on interpretations of Sanskrit texts. In addition, Mehra could take a 20-minute crash course on the same subject by watching this video.

We have digressed from the main topic of this letter which is a sincere plea to CM Siddaramaiah to please give justice to the grieving parents of Prashant Poojary. Their voice is not being heard and in order for all Indians to have faith in the idea of a pluralistic India, we must deliver justice. Society has decayed to such a low state in which we only care to nourish our votebanks. We have completely disenfranchised the majority community in order to “appease and empower” the minorities. When we have separate classes of Indians, with separate laws, with separate treatment in media, and double standards, then we can never hope for a happy and prosperous society.

My parting remarks are that we bend over backwards to make sure we do not hurt the sentiments of minority communities (we learn their faiths, customs etc) and simultaneously slaughter the rights and sentiments of the majority community. In order to rectify this, we need to mandate Uniform Civil Code, learning of Sanatan Dharma (by minority communities), and a full boycott of votebank politics. When the law is the same for all, we will not have conflicts. When minority communities learn about the Dharmic sentiments of the majority community and appreciate them, we will have true plurality. When politicians actually care about the best interests of the people and shun votebanking, we will have true development. So let us please come together as one Bharatiya family and treat all citizens equally.

I pray to Mahadev and Mata Parvati that Prashant Poojary’s Atma may attain Moksha and that his parents may continue to exhibit their courage by continuing to live and keep Prashant’s legacy alive.

Thanking you kindly,

~ Abhaya Shankar Dube,