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Interview: I am not corrupt, a rapist, criminal or blue film enthusiast, says Pramod Muthalik

Tuesday, 25 March 2014 - 7:44am IST | Place: Bangalore | Agency: dna

"Pramod Muthalik is not corrupt, a rapist, a criminal or a blue film enthusiast, but he is a patriot, honest person grown up with ideology of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)." Thus spake the founder of the infamous Sriram Sene, who was sacked from the BJP a bare five hours after he was inducted into the party on Sunday. Speaking with Sangamesh Menasinakai, he blamed Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar, the online media and "misguided" BJP national leaders for blocking his entry into the party. Excerpts from the 45-minute long interview:
  • Pramod-Muthalik

Why BJP cancelled your membership?
I have really no idea, but feel that my honesty was the problem. Rajnath Singh was misguided by online media which raised loud objections.

Do you suspect some leaders, like Anant Kumar, are behind in stopping your induction?
I am totally unaware who did what. I feel I have become the sacrificial goat. The BJP national leadership should know that in various elections it issued tickets to criminals, illegal mining barons, leaders who have been jailed and land grabbers. They should also know that Muthalik belongs to none of these categories.

What was your issue with Goa chief minister Manohar Parikkar, Sushma Swaraj and Nirmala Sitaraman? Why did they object to your induction?
Goa, where pub culture, parties with half-nude people cavorting are common, has always been fearful of my entry. Attempts of opening Sriram Sene branches in the state have alway been curbed. Parikkar may have feared loss of revenue from illegal activities which my entry would have stopped. Irrespective of the party in power, all governments in that have promoted prostitution, drug mafia and woman trafficking in the name of tourism. Considering all these reasons, Parrikar may have objected to my entry to BJP. In fact, Parrikar should be sacked from the BJP for interfering in the internal affairs of Karnataka unit. Rajnath Singh should have asked him who is he to object Karnataka BJP's decision. I feel Sushma, Nirmala and others have been misguided about me.

When you say BJP is full of anti-people leaders, why do you want to join it?
I have criticised BJP many times. In fact, it was the BJP regime which imposed the Goonda Act on Hindu activists, not the Congress. Though I was convinced by RSS leaders like Dr GH Naregal that division among Hindus led to Mughal raj in India. In the presence of RSS leaders, BJP leaders like KS Eshwarappa, Pralhad Joshi and Jagadish Shettar promised me an important status in the party and to accommodate me in Assembly or Lok Sabha in future. Even then BJP state president Anant Kumar invited me to join the BJP in 2004 with an offer of a ticket from any constituency that I wished to contest from. But I was committed to activism. Now, at the age of 60, I feel that some power is needed to bring a change in society.

Is power necessary to bring change?
Yes. See the movements initiated by Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev against corruption and black money. Their movements gradually lost importance as they are not in power. Meanwhile, we have the example of Modi, who could change Gujarat with the help of power.

You have been chanting name of Modi since months. But there is no response from him to you?
Modi is unaware about me and my activities. I am trying to approach him through Baba Ramdev.

You often claim that you are a 'Sanyasi' (saint). But you seem to be hankering for power.
Yes, I am a sanyasi, who does not own a bank account, or a house. I want power not for my personal needs, but I want it for society. If I were an MLA, for instance, I could help commoners to release cattle seized by police.

Do you think that BJP or its voters support a `woman beater'?
See, the intention of pub attack, in Mangalore in 2009, was good, but the approach was bad. I admit my followers committed a mistake by assaulting women. Their intention was to bring our sisters on right track. In fact I have a lot of respect for my sisters.

Then why did you assault your "sisters"?
I was not involved personally in that attack. However, I was in jail for 15 days, as my name was intentionally included. That case is pending before the court and I am ready to follow its order. My expression of apology and regret did not get the same publicity that the attack got. In my opinion, pub attack was a minor incident compared to cases like Tandoori case, in which a woman was burnt by a Congress leader. See any newspaper on any day, and you will find at least one incident of violence against women.

What's your next move?
Wait till noon on Tuesday. I have called a meeting of my followers at 11 am. If they force me to contest, I will. However, I am hopeful that the BJP national leadership will revoke my suspension by 11 am.

You are still stuck Hindutva, while the BJP seems to be moving away from to portray itself as inclusive...
I have objected this many times. If I join the BJP, I will try to bring it back it to Hindutva. When AP MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi is fighting for Islam, why should not I for Hindutva?

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