Smitha Pansare, daughter of CPI leader Govind Pansare who was shot dead a year ago, today said the ideologies of her late father, a prominent anti-toll activist and a rationalist, will never be defeated.
“The death of Govind Pansare has created 5,000 Pansares in Maharashtra. In Maharashtra, every town and every taluk has seen it. It is not only in that state but it is everywhere. The slogan right now is ‘We are Pansare’,” Smitha said.
82-year-old Pansare and his wife were shot at by two youths on February 16, 2015 near their home in Kolhapur, Maharashtra. While his wife recovered, Pansare succumbed to the injuries after five days.
“There was demonstration against the killing of Pansare in various towns (in Maharastra). Actually, Pansare became alive in several towns after his death,” Smitha, who was here to participate in a conference on “Intolerance” organised by All India Progressive Front and Doctors’ Association for Social Equality, said.
She said the fight was not against those who killed her father but for the progress of society.
“It is not just the murder of Pansare as a person or (rationalist leader) Narendra Dabholkar as a person. Our fight is not against the death of these people. Our fight is for a social cause. Our fight is for the voice of progressive people of our society,” she said.
Earlier at the conference, she said religious “bigots” were spreading “an atmosphere of fear by creating fear of religion, fear of dominance, so that these forces want to create a situation that will favour them.”
“In this experiment of unscientific behaviour they are using religious blind faith and feelings of unscientific thinking. They are using these tools to spread their political ideas,” Smitha said.
Noting that while Mahatma Gandhi was “appreciated” in Maharashtra at the official level, she said, “in the same state Godse is eulogised. There is a proposal to construct a temple for him (Godse).”
“The people who never participated in the freedom struggle are trying to teach us lessons of nationalism. These forces are now telling us what we should eat and whom should we love and who should not be loved,” she said.
Referring to the suicide of Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula in Hyderabad, she said it was time people joined hands for “unity” and “responsibility”.