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Posted On: 23 APR 2019

Pragya – the prudent Sadhvi

The glorious history of our great nation is replete with examples of brave Indian women who stood and fought for restoration of Indian values and freedom of the Hindu social order. The latest addition to this pantheon of the likes of Rani Jhansi and Ahilya Bai is the name of Sadhvi Pragya.

She has been catapulted into the hurly burly of national politics after being nominated as the BJP candidate against the RSS-baiter Digvijay Singh from Bhopal. Prime Minister Modi has endorsed and defended her candidature. But Pragya Singh, a post-graduate in history, was politically alive and socially active from her student days as a member of ABVP and also the Durga Vahini, VHP’s woman's wing. The young firebrand later turned into a sanyasi. Her father, an ayurvedic doctor by profession, was associated with RSS. She achieved national fame when she was accused of and arrested in connection with the Malegaon blast case in 2008. In the 2019 Prayagraj Kumbh she was appointed mahamandaleshwar of Bharat Bhakti Akhada and christened Mahamandelshwar Swami Purnachetnanand Giri.

Sadhvi Pragya underwent a dramatic change after her painful brush with the Indian law and order machinery and the brutality and torture in jail. The young and volatile mind was disenchanted and this loss of faith in the system led to the logical reaction of detachment.

Resilience and grit of this Bharatiya Veerangna (Indian braveheart) is established in the way she has staged a comeback after so much persecution and physical and mental torture. The manner in which she has exposed the third degree torture and the horrors she was subjected to during her incarceration reflect both her survival instincts and fighting spirit. An ordinary soul would have surrendered and run away but she stood her ground and survived the ordeal by fire with her spirit undaunted.

Criticism of the national hero Hemant Karkare, a police officer martyred in line of duty during the Mumbai 26/11 attacks was an avoidable reference. Her choice of words received all-round condemnation and she was forced to retract her statement. Having said so, if you examine her reaction dispassionately from her standpoint it reflects the extreme pain and hurtful experience she had to undergo.

Rise of such exceptional firebrand and committed women in India's political firmament augurs well for the future of the Indian democracy. After her election to the 17th parliament, she will set the debate stage on fire with her nationalist fervour. Irrespective of the court verdict she will always be remembered by millions of Hindus as a dharma yodha who was ready to stand up and be counted.

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