His statement comes days after BJP MP Pragya Singh Thakur said that ‘Hindus should keep their kitchen knives sharp’.
Sri Rama Sene president and known Hindutva leader Pramod Muthalik has asked people in the Hindu community to worship swords and display them at their homes to protect their women. The statement by Pramod Muthalik comes days after BJP MP Pragya Singh Thakur told Hindus to keep their kitchen knives sharp, pointing at a concerted effort by the Sangh Parivar to speak about weapons and violence in the run-up to the Karnataka elections.
Pramod Muthalik stated that it is better to worship swords than tools or books during the Ayudha Pooja, a festival observed in south India a day before Dasara. In this festival, people usually worship articles linked to their occupation. “We should worship swords instead of tractors, books or pens. We should display swords at our homes to protect our women,” Muthalik said at a convention to mark Swami Vivekananda’s birth anniversary in Yadravi in Belagavi district of Karnataka on Thursday.
Pramod Muthalik is now one of the most recognisable Hindutva leaders in Karnataka and is known for making controversial and incendiary remarks. He was the first ever convenor of the Bajrang Dal in Karnataka and was also part of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad for decades before he parted ways in 2004. After stints with the BJP and Shiv Sena, he started the Sri Rama Sene in 2006. The Hindutva group came under the spotlight over a decade ago after attacking pub-going women in Mangaluru in coastal Karnataka. Pramod Muthalik was later acquitted in the trial as witnesses did not come forward to testify even though videos of the attack were captured by news channels.
Pramod Muthalik’s statements also come months after the Hindutva group Hindu Jagarana Vedike led a march in Udupi district of Karnataka in which men brandished swords and a series of incendiary speeches called for Hindus to take up weapons. “There should be a weapon in every Hindu household. In the next Ayudha pooja, Hindus should not worship cycles, mixers or grinders, but they should worship weapons. Let us cultivate the mindset to use those weapons. This is the aim of the Hindu Jagarana Vedike,” Shrikant Shetty Karkala, an Udupi-based television reporter and Hindutva leader had said in the speech.
Read: Hindutva group marches with swords in Udupi on Gandhi Jayanthi, calls for Hindu rashtra
BJP MP Pragya Singh Thakur had on December 25 exhorted Hindus to keep their vegetable knives sharp against perpetrators of “love jihad”, the conspiracy term used by BJP and the right wing to purport a conspiracy that Muslim men lure Hindu women into relationships and marriage to convert them.
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