Even though the outcome of the investigation hangs in the balance, its nature and scope were unprecedented. The transcript of the set of meetings held by the members of the Abhinav Bharat over 2007 and 2008 is explosive. The proceedings were recorded by one of the participants (Sudhakar Dwivedi alias Amritananda Dev Tirth) on his laptop, and they provide us a glimpse of the Hindu Rashtra that is the ultimate goal of the Abhinav Bharat. The conversations, which are part of the charge sheet of the 2008 Malegaon blast case, delve into various issues ranging from a new Constitution and a new flag for the proposed Hindu Rashtra, to the justification of bomb blasts and the Abhinav Bharat’s cordial relations with the RSS and the BJP.
Here is an excerpt from one of them:
LIEUTENANT COLONEL PUROHIT: We will fight the Constitution, will fight the nation; this Constitution is not ours. […] The only way is to knock it down […]
SUDHAKAR DWIVEDI: On the first page of the Constitution it is written that the People of India have adopted this Constitution. How did this happen? On what basis could people adopt the Constitution? Was there any referendum? No. Was there any debate on it? No. How could then it be passed? How was this written on behalf of the people and who wrote it? […]
PUROHIT: Swami ji, if this is so then we have to fight the Constitution; we have to fight for our independence.
SUDHAKAR DWIVEDI: We have an ancient science of administration. Our Smritis are the Constitution of our society. At present there are as many as 14 Smritis in this country. Collect them together […]
PUROHIT: In this country we want to have Hindu Dharma or Vedic Dharma based on the Principles of Vedas.
MAJ. (RETD.) RAMESH UPADHYAY: This Constitution is not applicable to us, will not be acceptable to us; another Constitution will come into place; then Hindu Rashtra is established.
But a new Constitution based on the smritis was not considered sufficient for the new Hindu Rashtra. The key architect of the Abhinav Bharat also proposed a redesign of the tricolour: ‘The flag shall be solo tamed saffron flag having a golden border and an ancient golden torch. Length of the flag [shall] be twice its width […] There will be four flames in four directions on that saffron flag representing [four] Vedas.’
In order to establish the Abhinav Bharat as the conscience-keeper of the new nation, the transcript shows Purohit arguing that ‘wherever Abhinav Bharat is started, there should be a temple, the temple of Bharat Mata […] That would give sanctity to the idea of nationhood.’
Such language reveals utter contempt for the institutions of the Indian state and the laws of the land. At one point, some of the participants in the conversation, including retired Major Ramesh Upadhyay and Lieutenant Colonel Purohit, own up to the responsibility of having carried out some of the earlier bomb blasts that had been seen as ‘the handiwork of the ISI’. At another point, Purohit makes it clear that anybody who came in the way of the establishment of the Hindu Rashtra would not only be ‘politically excommunicated’ but he would be ‘killed’.
The transcript also shows that the Abhinav Bharat leaders considered the BJP and the RSS as friendly organizations, but that they could not expect much from them in the short term. They found the RSS lacking not in ideology or agenda, but in modus operandi and ‘immediate action’.
The dialogue makes it seem like ‘immediate action’ is what spurred Purohit and the others. And for that, they required adequately motivated men as well as sufficient funds. The Maharashtra ATS prised the lid off the Abhinav Bharat’s money trail.
According to the charge sheet, Rakesh Dhawade, who ‘was present in the oath taking ceremony of members of Abhinav Bharat at Raigad [or Raigarh] fort’ along with Purohit and Ajay Rahirkar in 2006, belonged to an organized crime syndicate. He had floated a body called the Institute of Research and Development in Oriental Studies – Arms and Armour (IRDOS). An amount of 2,25,000 rupees was given to IRDOS by cheque from the Abhinav Bharat’s account at the instance of Purohit for ‘facilitating his [Dhawade’s] services to commit’ the blast. The charge sheet also revealed that the Abhinav Bharat treasurer Ajay Rahirkar ‘paid 3,20,000 rupees to Rakesh Dhawade for procuring weapons at the instance of’ Purohit.
Clearly, establishing a Hindu Rashtra and taking revenge on Indian Muslims for ‘past acts of terrorism’ were not the only factors driving the Abhinav Bharat. Rakesh Dhawade, for instance, was doing all this for the sake of money. The charge sheet points out that many of the others were also working for pecuniary gains: