Till 2000, Himani Savarkar was an architect. That’s when she discontinued her practice to become the president of the Hindu Mahasabha. The 61-year-old Himani lives in Pune and her hardline Hindutva roots are well-entrenched. She is the daughter of Gopal Godse, the brother of Nathuram Godse, and is married to Veer Savarkar’s nephew. Himani is also the president of the Abhinav Bharat. Some members of the organization have been linked to the Malegaon bomb attack of September 29. Himani spoke to Outlook. Excerpts:
How did you become the president of Abhinav Bharat?
I had known Sameer Kulkarni (the Maharashtra ATS has alleged that he was part of the team that provided logistic support for the Malegaon blasts) for quite some time. Like me, he was also part of the RSS. When he decided to start Abhinav Bharat, he approached me to become its president and I accepted.
What are the objectives of Abhinav Bharat?
Our aim is to fight terror—spread awareness of who the real terrorists are and teach people how to oppose terrorism. This should have been done by the government but it has failed to prevent terror attacks. Since the government failed to act, there had to be a reaction. If what the police claim against Sadhvi Pragya Singh and the others is true, then it is just a reaction against the real terrorism....
But is a blast-for-blast strategy the way to tackle terrorism?
Didn’t Maharashtra deputy CM R.R. Patil say that we must reply with a bullet for a bullet? Then why can’t we have a blast for a blast? Sameer Kulkarni and the others are patriots who love their country. But the government is now trying to declare them guilty to weaken the Hindus. We have become a soft state...should we all wear bangles now? The government doesn’t want to fight terrorism. That’s why it will never take action against the Muslims. The police have cracked so many cases like the encounter in Delhi where Muslim terrorists were killed. But as soon as the police takes action, there are shouts for a judicial inquiry.
You have faith in the police when it comes to Muslims as terror suspects but not so when Hindus are accused by the same cops? Also, Muslims say they never got justice after the 1993 Bombay riots and the 2002 Gujarat riots? How do you respond?
This is a demand made by Muslims based on their religion. If they are to make such demands, then there are so many countries for Muslims and they should go live there. There is only one country for Hindus and we must protect it. I don’t believe in reports like the Srikrishna Commission report (on the ’92-93 Bombay riots) because I know how they are managed.
So, has the Nanavati Commission’s report on the Gujarat riots also been similarly ‘managed’?
I don’t know much about that report. But you must remember that it is normal human behaviour to react. All that is happening today is a reaction from the Hindus. I don’t believe in the philosophy of turning the other cheek if someone slaps you. We must strike back. So, if someone takes action to defend the Hindus, then we must defend them.
How should India fight terrorism?
We must declare ourselves a Hindu rashtra where everyone is a Hindu. Anyone who isn’t should be declared a second-class citizen and denied voting rights. Those who have problems with this should leave and settle in other countries. The Hindu vote bank must unite to vote out any government that fails to tackle terror. Then we must throw out the outsiders like Bangladeshis who live off India’s wealth and work towards destroying us.
What if people of other faiths reject your prescription and refuse to call themselves Hindu....
Then they are welcome to leave this country. Those living in Germany are called Germans, in England they are English, then why shouldn’t those living in Hindustan be called Hindus?