Gauri Lankesh Murder: All You Wanted to Know About the Sanatan Sanstha

Politics

Gauri Lankesh Murder: All You Wanted to Know About the Sanatan Sanstha

Illustration: Namaah/ Arré

T

he Sanatan Sanstha, founded in 1999 by a hypnotherapist named Jayant Balaji Athavale, is an organisation that believes spirituality is a science, no matter what scientists say. Its stated aim is rekindling “dharma” in our society and protecting the righteous, while also, ensuring India remains a Hindu Rashtra, by ensuring everyone follows their brand of Hinduism.

And so it is no surprise that almost 20 years later the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad has put in a proposal to ban the organisation. In the last few years, members of the Sanatan Sanstha, and number of radical right-wing affiliate groups, have been linked to the murders of four rationalists and left-leaning thinkers – Gauri Lankesh, Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare, and M M Kalburgi – and also of plotting a series of blasts across Maharashtra, apparently aimed at those who do not accept their brand of Hinduism.

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